Smith, who represented a number of clubs in Johannesburg, played his provincial rugby for and captained the erstwhile Transvaal Independent Rugby Football Union (TIRFU) under the banner of SACOS.

“We were team-mates back in the day; George was tough as nails and never shied away from getting stuck in on the field,” said Mr Alexander.

“He also did body building and that power, built into his very strong frame, made him a very tough opponent for anyone he faced in the front row.

“George was also someone who worked very hard, as is testimony to the fact that he didn’t play rugby from a young age and only got his national colours at the age of 34, when most of his peers were thinking of hanging up their boots.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with his family in this time of bereavement, and our wishes are that they will find solace in the memories of George as a family man, a friend, a colleague and a team-mate.”

Picture credit: Heindrich Wyngaard