Full name Douglas William Cumming Smith
Born October 27, 1924, Aberdeen
Died September 22, 1998, Midhurst (aged 73 years 330 days)
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Scotland
|British and Irish Lions||1950-1950||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||100.00|
|Test debut||France v Scotland at Colombes, Jan 15, 1949 match details|
|Last Test||Scotland v Ireland at Murrayfield, Feb 28, 1953 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Dr Douglas Smith played for Scotland eight times between 1949 and 1953 and won a further Test cap for the British & Irish Lions against the Wallabies in 1950 during their tour of Australia and New Zealand. But he is arguably best remembered as the team manager for the 1971 Lions who claimed an historic series victory over New Zealand - their first against the All Blacks in almost three-quarters of a century of trying.
Smith was a talented all-round sportsman having played football for Aberdeen as an amateur and cricket for Aberdeenshire as well as rugby for the Aberdeen Grammar club.
Along with the legendary coach Carwyn James, he took charge of the 1971 Lions for their tour of Australia and New Zealand and steered them to a stunning victory over the All Blacks that Smith famously predicted. As Chris Rea later wrote in The Independent, "The tourists had lost their first match, against Queensland, just 24 hours after they had arrived jet- lagged in Brisbane, and had immediately been written off by the New Zealanders as being the worst Lions side in history. But with that irresistible mix of Caledonian sincerity and brazen cheek, Smith announced to the assembled media pack that the Lions would win two Tests, lose one and draw the other."
His prediction later came true with a drop goal from Welshman JPR Williams ensuring the Lions drew the fourth and final Test in Auckland having won in Dunedin and Wellington either side of a loss in Christchurch. As the tour took place in the days before large numbers of backroom staff travelled with the squad, Smith acted as the team doctor, with a bit of help from Williams who was just qualifying. Smith was awarded an OBE the following year.
Described by another Lions legend Willie John McBride as, "the finest of all Lions managers", Smith later served as fixtures secretary for London Scottish and was president of the Scottish Rugby Union between 1986-87.