Linwood fullback Tony Smith’s sole appearance for New Zealand was a memorable one – featuring in the custodian role as the Kiwis rolled Great Britain 19-0 in the 1962 series opener at Carlaw Park.
Smith represented Canterbury against France and debuted for South Island in 1960, while he was at fullback for Canterbury’s Rugby League Cup win over Auckland and South Island’s interisland victory in 1962. He also helped Linwood to championships in 1960-61.
Unlucky to miss the Kiwis’ 1961-62 tour to Britain and France, the accomplished goalkicker was chosen in New Zealand’s line-up for the first Test against a Great Britain side fresh off an Ashes series triumph in Australia.
Smith booted a goal in the record-breaking shutout of the Lions, but a chipped bone in his shoulder suffered in that match ruled the 22-year-old out of the second Test and Jack Fagan returned in the No.1 jersey.
He moved to Waiau in 1963 to pursue farming and was effectively forced to hang up the boots, refused reinstatement by the rugby union establishment because of his rugby league ties.
NEW ZEALAND (1962)
1 Test – 1 goal (2 points)