George Smith breaks world record without knowing

With all of the Australian excitement of the Wallabies picking up their first win in South Africa for eight years it was almost forgotten that George Smith had become the world’s most capped flanker.

In the match against the Springboks George Smith won his 90th cap for Australia overtaking Frenchman Olivier Magne and he didn’t know that he had set a new record for a flanker.

“I wasn’t aware of it until after the game,” Smith told AAP.

“You don’t play the game to reach these milestones but it was nice news to receive after the game and to surpass a great player like Olivier Magne is a fantastic achievement.

“I’ve got plenty of time and plenty of games ahead of me.”

Smith is often regarded as one of the world’s top flankers along with All Black captain Richie McCaw and both are normally grilled about the breakdown after each test

“That’s a question that comes up every week,” he noted before giving his weekly answer.

“The breakdown’s an important part of the game so it will definitely be an area that we will take notice of.”

After the Springboks were comprehensively outplayed in recent weeks by both Richie McCaw and George Smith so the South African media have been been somewhat obsessed with this facet of play.

The Springboks have however not fielded a specialist “fetcher” in their recent run of Test losses which has allowed Smith and McCaw to dominate.

The fans are starting to turn on their coach De Villiers and they want South Africa to field a world class player like Aussie No.7 Smith.

“It can work in different ways for you, you can have faster (flankers) in terms of reaction time at the breakdown, then a bigger physical guy in terms of ball carrying ability,” Smith explained.

“So it works differently for different teams and I guess it works around the way the team is coached as well.”

Smith could go on answering similar questions into a 100th Test next year, a mark he admits he is aiming for.

“It’s a possibility that I can reach that mark,” he said.

“My body’s feeling really good at the moment and I’m enjoying the football that I am playing so hopefully if the time comes I’d like to make that mark.”

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