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George Smith looking to emulate All Blacks great Andy Haden

lionsrugby.com and James Mortimer     05 Jul 2013    

He will join Arthur Miller, John Thornett and Peter Johnston in playing in four Tests across two tours this weekend having figured in all three games in the 2001 series. The Brumbies back row man celebrated his 21st birthday by helping the Qantas wallabies win the third Test in Sydney to win the series 2-1.

Miller, Thornett and Johnson all played against the Lions in the 1959 and 1966 series, suffering defeats in all four matches. Three other Australians, Lonnie Spragg, Peter ward and Paddy Carew, all played in the four Tests in the original series between the two teams in 1899, which the Lions won 3-1.

But Smith is also aiming to join an even more select group of seven players who have played in two winning series against the Lions. With the 2013 series perfectly poised at 1-1 Smith will enter the fray with the chance to help the Wallabies cross the line and hold onto the Tom Richards Trophy following their victory 12 years ago.

The last player to notch a second successive series victory over the Lions was the New Zealand lock Andy Haden 30 years ago. Haden had played in all four games against Phil Bennett's 1977 Lions, in a series which the All Blacks triumphed 3-1, and then figured in all four wins over Ciaran Fitzgerald's tourists in 1983 to earn himself a record of seven wins in eight Tests.

Two other great All Black forwards, Colin Meads and Kel Tremain, made their debuts against the Lions in 1959, figuring in three of the four Tests, and then appeared in all four wins over Michael Campbell-Lamerton's tourists in 1966. Tremain ended with six wins from seven Test outings against the Lions.

Meads went on to captain the All Blacks in all four games in the 1971 series, which the Lions won 2-1 with a game drawn. He ended with seven wins and a draw from 11 Tests against the Lions.

The great Northern Transvaal lock Frik du Preez leads a cast of four Springboks who have played in two winning series against the Lions, all in 1962 and 1968. Du Preez picked up six wins and two draws in his eight outings, while the powerful centre Mannie Roux enjoyed five wins and a draw in another unbeaten record.

Scrum half Dawie de Villiers led the Springboks through the 1968 series and also appeared in two games in 1962, while the speedy wing Jannie Engelbrecht played three times in 1962 and twice in 1968.

Three more All Blacks, Charlie Seeling, Billy Stead and Billy Wallace, all played in the single Test against the Lions in 1904 and then appeared in the three match series in 1908. New Zealand triumphed 9-3 in the first Test between the two teams in 1904 and four years later won the series 2-0 with the middle Test drawn.