George Smith added yet another trophy to his sizable collection but was quick to praise his Wasps teammates after being named Green Flag Forward of the Season at the Aviva Premiership Rugby awards.
Smith, who was beaten to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Year gong by Alex Goode, saw off competition from Saracens second rows George Kruis and Maro Itoje as well as Billy Vunipola, Teimana Harrison and Nili Latu.
The Australian flanker, who has 111 international caps, signed for Wasps last summer from Lyon and has made 25 appearances for his new club this season, scoring one try but making an incredible contribution for Dai Young’s team.
“It’s fantastic to get the recognition; to win an award with those nominees is fantastic,” he said.
“It’s always nice to get recognised for work you’ve done throughout the year. I really enjoy what I do, I enjoy the competition and I also enjoy the camaraderie we have with the players in the squad, they motivate me to be better as a rugby player.
“Obviously individual awards are always the by-product of team work and Wasps have been playing particularly well throughout the season.
“It’s nice that two players, myself and Charles Piutau, have been nominated it shows the club is in a good position with players and the way we play the game.”
The 35-year-old is set to be part of the Wasps side that takes on Exeter Chiefs in the second Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final this Saturday.
Success at Sandy Park would see Wasps with a chance to grab their first league title since Lawrence Dallaglio lifted the trophy in his last game in 2008.
Wasps also made the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup this season, beating Chiefs in the quarters before going down to Saracens and Smith said he was happy to be able to contribute to the team effort.
“I always have confidence in my ability as a player, I don’t sign a contract unless I feel I will add some value to a team,” he added.
“We have shown this year we are a running team, we have exciting players throughout the squad.
“We’ve strived hard throughout the year to put ourselves in a position where we can win a semi-final and that’s all you can do.
“It’s been a tough competition due to the condensed season with the World Cup but the resilience of the players and their desire to win games with flair has put us in a good position to compete this weekend against Exeter.”