Len Smith

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Career Stats & Summary

Served in World War II as a member of the AIF. He enlisted as a private, but after serving in Palestine, Egypt, Syria and New Guinea he had risen to the rank of captain.

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Len Herbert Smith
Born
Sunday, 25th March, 1917
Died
Tuesday, 25th April, 2000 (Aged 83 years and 31 days)
Place Of Birth
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia

Biography

The incumbent Australian captain-coach for the 1948 Test series against NZ, dual international Len Smith was inexcusably dropped from the Kangaroo Tour that year. Authors Gary Lester and Ian Heads have both hinted at a hidden agenda by Australian selectors (while Smith was Catholic and the selection panel was dominated by Masons, selector ‘Latchem’ Robinson was also lobbying for the coach role on the tour and Smith had the inside running to that position). An Easts junior in RU, Smith was a member of the 1939 Wallabies squad that went to England but did not play in a match because of the outbreak of war. After serving as an Army captain during the war and seeing action in Palestine, Egypt, Syria and New Guinea, Smith returned to Australia and changed codes to play with Newtown in 1943. He starred in the centres in the club's grand final win over Norths that year but it was not until after the end of WWII that he represented NSW. Smith was named captain-coach of both the NSW and Australian Test teams in 1948 and although Australia lost the First Test against the Kiwis, Smith changed the team’s tactics and Australia won the return Test in Brisbane. Although he was named NSW Player of the Year in 1948 Smith retired from the game when the Kangaroo squad was announced and his name was not read included (this was done at a function after a NSW v Queensland match in which Smith was in attendance). In 1950 he was invited to coach Riverina in the tour match against Great Britain but despite writing authoritatively in the Sporting Life magazine and working diligently with the NSW Trotting Authority in the 1960s and 1970s, Smith shunned all connection with the code. He passed away on ANZac Day, 2000, aged 83.

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1948 2 - -   - - 1 1 0 50.00% Match list
Overall 1948 2 0 0   0 - 1 1 0 50.00% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Army Firsts 1943-44 3 2 -   - 6 0 3 0 0.00% Match list
NSW Firsts 1947-48 7 6 -   - 18 5 1 1 71.43% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1947-48 2 - -   - - 2 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1943-1948 12 8 0   0 24 7 4 1 58.33% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Newtown NSWRFL 1943 14 5 -   - 15 9 4 1 64.29% Match list
Newtown NSWRFL 1944 13 5 -   - 15 9 4 0 69.23% Match list
Newtown NSWRFL 1946 14 9 1   - 29 9 5 0 64.29% Match list
Newtown NSWRFL 1947 ? 14 -   - 42  
Newtown NSWRFL 1948 ? 10 -   - 30  
Overall 1943-1948 ? 43 1   0 131 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Newtown 1943-44, 1946 41 43 1   - 131 27 13 1 65.85% Match list
Overall 1943-1948 ? 43 1   0 131 ? ? ? ?  

Australian Finals Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Newtown 1943-44, 1946 5 5 -   - 15 2 3 0 40.00% Match list
Overall 1943-1946 5 5 0   0 15 2 3 0 40.00% Match list

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Last modified: Sat, 05 Dec 2020 02:13:27 +1100 (Sydney time)