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Rugby hi-jinks floors prop Smart; RETRO REPORT.

FEBRUARY 23, 1982 - How we covered...

NEWPORT and England rugby prop Colin Smart did not live up to his name when he joined in the celebration after the international victory over France.

He was taken to hospital, reportedly suffering from the after-effects of drinking after-shave lotion.

But last night on his return to Britain, he said he thought it was champagne that brought his downfall before the main course could be eaten.

He said, "Someone pretended to drink aftershave. They poured it into a wine bottle, but I don't think I drank it.

"I should have stuck to beer instead of champagne. I'm not used to it and it must have given me a bug."

The after-shave bottles - a gift from the French federation - were also used by the English players as missiles - together with bread rolls and glasses.

Smart spent the night in the Paris hospital but neglected to mention it when he checked in by phone with his wife Alison, on arrival at Heathrow several hours after the rest of the team. She found out later from a television report.

He admitted that the official dinner was a noisy affair, "Drinks and glasses went flying, but that's normal at a rugby dinner. It's par for the course. I flaked out after the meal and spent the night in hospital, but I'm okay now and I'll be back in training tomorrow. I think part of it was delayed shock after handling the ball for the first time this season."

RFU doctor Dr Leo Walkden said Smart collapsed during the serving of curried saddle of lamb. "I couldn't very well treat him in the middle of an official dinner, so I took him to hospital," he said.

"There was certainly some boisterousness and high spirits at the dinner. What happened was not the sort of thing one should do in front of one's hosts, but I don't think it needs a national apology... " At her Pontypool home last night Mrs Smart said her husband did not mention going to hospital when he rang her - she learned about it a few minutes later from a television newscast.

There was an apology from RFU president David Brooks. He said, "This is not the sort of behaviour we want."

Edited by Tony Woolway
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 23, 2012
Words:380
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