Record in touching distance

The RBS 6 Nations returns for Round 3 this weekend and two British & Irish Lions team mates from the last two tours will be battling against each other to claim yet another record. [more]

Record in touching distance

The RBS 6 Nations returns for Round 3 this weekend and two British & Irish Lions team mates from the last two tours will be battling against each other to claim yet another record.

Between them Brian O’Driscoll and Shane Williams already hold a hat-full of records, but they are now within touching distance of a mark set 78 years ago by another great Lion, Ian Smith.

The ‘Flying Scotsman’ scored 24 tries in a 31 match Championship career that included Scotland’s first Grand Slam in 1925. The Oxford University and London Scottish wing scored at the phenomenal rate of three tries every four Tests, including nine tries in eight games against England.

Smith’s mark has withstood the test of time from many legendary challengers for the last 78 years, but O’Driscoll and Williams are now closing in. The Irish skipper is just one try away from matching Smith’s mark after claiming his 23rd touchdown in the recent Irish victory over Italy in Rome.

O’Driscoll’s haul has come from 52 Six Nations outings, while Williams made it 22 tries in 39 games with his brace in the win over the Scots at Murrayfield.

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Smith was a key member of the great Oxford University three-quarter line, along with Phil Macpherson, George Aitken and Johnny Wallace, was a deadly finisher when given a merest sniff of the try line.

In the 1925 tournament he scored a Championship record equaling eight tries in just two matches – he crossed four times against France and then repeated the feat a fortnight later against Wales.

Born in Melbourne in 1903, and brought up in New Zealand, Smith was educated at Winchester and qualified to play for Scotland through family connections in the Borders.

Smith was a British & Irish Lion to South Africa in 1924 – the first tour after the end of the First World War – and in 1933 he captained the Scotland side who won the Triple Crown in Dublin, eventually defeating the Irish 8-6 after the first match was cancelled amid ferocious blizzards. It was Smith’s last international and a fitting end to an exceptional rugby career.

The 2011 RBS 6 Nations is set to be Williams’ swan-song, so he will be hoping to maintain his great record against the Italians in Rome this weekend. He currently has nine tries against them in eight games.

O’Driscoll has five tries in 10 games against the Scots, but has yet to score at Murrayfield. If he puts that record straight on Sunday then he will join Smith in the Championship record books.
THE SMITH CHAMPIONSHIP TRIES
FIVE NATIONS RECORD – P 31 W20 D0 L11, Pts 72 (24 tries)

BY CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
YEAR OPPONENT VENUE TRIES
1924 Wales Inverleith 3
1925 France Inverleith 4
Wales Swansea 4
1926 England Twickenham 2
1927 France Murrayfield 2
England Murrayfield 2
1929 Ireland Lansdowne Road 1
England Murrayfield 2
1931 England Murrayfield 2
1932 England Twickenham 1
1933 Wales Swansea 1

BY COUNTRY
v England 9
v Wales 8
v France 6
v Ireland 1

THE O’DRISCOLL CHAMPIONSHIP TRIES
SIX NATIONS RECORD – P 52 W38 L14, Pts 118 (23 tries, 1 DG)

BY CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
YEAR OPPONENT VENUE TRIES
2000 Scotland Lansdowne Road 1
Italy Lansdowne Road 1
France Stade de France 3
2001 France Lansdowne Road 1
Wales Millennium Stadium 1
2002 Scotland Lansdowne Road 3
2003 Italy Stadio Flaminio 1
2004 Wales Lansdowne Road 2
Italy Lansdowne Road 1
2005 England Lansdowne Road 1
France Lansdowne Road 1
2007 Wales Millennium Stadium 1
2009 France Croke Park 1
Italy Stadio Flaminio 1
England Croke Park 1
Wales Millennium Stadium 1
2010 Scotland Croke Park 1
2011 Italy Stadio Flaminio 1

BY COUNTRY
v France 6
v Italy 5
v Scotland 5
v Wales 5
v England 2

THE WILLIAMS CHAMPIONSHIP TRIES
SIX NATIONS RECORD – P 39 W22 D1 L16, Pts 110 (22 tries)

BY CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
YEAR OPPONENT VENUE TRIES
2000 Italy Millennium Stadium 1
Scotland Millennium Stadium 2
2004 Italy Millennium Stadium 2
2005 England Millennium Stadium 1
Italy Stadio Flaminio 1
Scotland Murrayfield 1
2007 Italy Stadio Flaminio 1
2008 Scotland Millennium Stadium 2
Italy Millennium Stadium 2
Ireland Croke Park 1
France Millennium Stadium 1
2009 Scotland Murrayfield 1
Italy Stadio Flaminio 1
2010 Scotland Millennium Stadium 1
France Millennium Stadium 1
Italy Millennium Stadium 1
2011 Scotland Murrayfield 2

BY COUNTRY
v Italy 9
v Scotland 9
v France 2
v Ireland 1
v England 1

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