George Smith named top Brumbies' player - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

George Smith named top Brumbies' player

03/07/2010 06:15:01 AM Comments (0)

George Smith has finished his career at the Brumbies on top, taking out his ninth Brett Robinson Players' Player Award at the Super rugby team's annual presentation night.

The 29-year-old, who will join French club Toulon this month, finished the season with 174 votes, ahead of winger Pat McCabe (151), flyhalf/inside centre Matt Giteau (130), prop Ben Alexander (127) and captain Stephen Hoiles (119).

The achievement of receiving his eighth consecutive Players Player gong was made all the more remarkable given he was sidelined for five matches during the season with nerve damage to his shoulder.

Prior to suffering the injury against the Blues in round six, Smith led the tally on 136 points before returning from his lay-off to poll another 38 in the Brumbies' final matches against the Highlanders and Crusaders.

The award, voted on a 3-2-1 basis after each match, is named after the foundation ACT captain Brett Robinson, who was present to hand over the award to the 100-Test Wallaby for a ninth occasion.

Smith's off-field contribution to the Brumbies was also recognised as he received the Garry Quinlivan Service Award.

Smith, who was farewelled at the function alongside fellow club stalwart Stirling Mortlock, completed his Brumbies career with 128 Super rugby caps, eight shy of the competition record 136 caps held by former Brumbies teammate and scrumhalf George Gregan.

Brumbies coach Andy Friend says Smith's two awards are an appropriate send-off.

"I guess the silver lining of George moving on is that it will finally give someone else a chance to win this [Brett Robinson] award," he joked.

"George is a once in a generation player. His ability to come up with the big play time and time again is uncanny and he's been a key to the side's success over the past decade."

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