Former Scotland captain Tom Smith faces cancer battle
The 48-year-old ex-prop forward has been diagnosed with stage-four colorectal cancer.
Former Scotland rugby captain Tom Smith has been diagnosed with stage-four colorectal cancer.
The 48-year-old prop forward, who won 61 international caps between 1997 and 2005 as well as touring with the British and Irish Lions, said he was determined to tackle the disease head-on.
Smith has received intensive rounds of chemotherapy and is also undergoing radiotherapy after the cancer spread to his liver and brain.
"I was in my hospital bed and I said to staff, 'I'm determined to fight this'," Smith said on the Scottish Rugby Union website.
After a 15-year career playing for the Caledonian Reds, Glasgow Caledonians, Brive and Northampton, he now lives in the south of France.
A reunion lunch of Scotland's 1999 Five Nations Championship winning team, in which Smith played, is set to be held in Edinburgh during December.
The event will help raise funds for the former Scotland captain and his family, wife Zoe and three children, aged 18, 17 and nine.
There will also be a dedicated dinner, supported by close friend Shaun Longstaff and fellow Scotland winger Kenny Logan, hosted at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham during March, with proceeds set to further aid the family.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend played with Smith - who also manages epilepsy - for the Lions Test series victory against South Africa during 1997 and also at club level with Brive.
"Tom's achievement of starting six Lions Tests in a row between that tour of South Africa and then the 2001 tour of Australia is a testament of how highly he was regarded as a player," Townsend said on scottishrugby.org.
"Fearsomely strong and competitive, he went about his business undemonstratively, but also had an outrageous skill set."
Townsend added: "For me, Tom is the outstanding Scotland player of the professional era and I'm sure rugby supporters throughout Scotland and the world will rally behind him and his family in these tough times."