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Home > News > Millwall player steps up to World stage
Your News Millwall player steps up to World stage

Aussie Winger Ben Smith can normally be found at the end of the Millwall backline finishing off tries or making game-saving tackles. But with the Easter break meaning no matches for the Millwall 1st XV, Smith took the opportunity to spend time with his other hobby...marbles!

Smith (27) along with a group of friends, were fortunate to represent Australia in the 2008 World Marbles Championship in Tinsley Green, West Sussex on the 21st of March.

The championships are held annually on specially constructed marble rings in the car park of The Greyhound Pub in Tinsley Green.

Interest in the tournament was high with many global news reporters and photographers on hand to capture the flamboyant Australian contingent and they were rock-solid under pressure, easing past their first round opponents, CBBC 6-1.

In the next round, the Australians were matched up against three time and defending champion “1st MC Erzgebirge” from Germany.

Despite their obvious enthusiasm, the Australians were no match for their more experienced opponents and were knocked out in just the second round.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Aussies though as Ben Smith finished 6th in the Individual Final, which featured over 100 marbathletes from 21 countries.

Smith, who arrived in London in 2004 works for the NHS as an echocardiographer, has played 45 matches for Millwall and is hoping to finish the season strong as the Millwall 1st XV need two victories from their final two games to confirm their place in Essex 1 for next season. For now though, he was happy to pay tribute to his fellow “marbathletes”:

“There were over 20 teams competing in this tournament and the standard of play and showmanship was outstanding”

While for some, Marbles might not bring the same respect or prestige that playing at Twickenham would bring, Smith said he was immensely proud to don the green and gold like many of his heroes before him:

“To be able to be mentioned in the same breath as John Eales, George Gregan, Shane Warne and Steve Waugh is very satisfying”

“Being ranked in the top ten in the world is one of the highest honours I’ve ever achieved” said the Tower Hamlets resident.

Smith’s team mate Brendan Done (26), also a fellow Millwall representative has played rugby league for the Australian Universities in 2005, making him a unique “dual-international” in the two sports.

Meanwhile Millwall’s effort to promote the sport of rugby to Ladies continues to be successful. The next TRY Rugby session is planned for Saturday 29th of March from 10:30am on Millwall Park near Mudchute DLD station. Any ladies interested in trying something different should visit or email alternatively, call 07963833655

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