Graham Rowntree has warned England that they must stop Tom Smith, his long-serving Scotland front row rival, in Saturday's final match of the 2005 RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham.
The veteran Leicester prop paid tribute to Smith as a "trail-blazer when it comes to front row play - props handling the ball and being involved in the loose".
He said: "Every respect to Tom. I toured with him in '97 for the Lions and I think he's a great player - but we can do with him not being a great player on Saturday."
Smith's never-say-die approach played a big part in Scotland regaining a measure of respect with their second-half display in Sunday's 46-22 home defeat by Wales after they trailed 38-3 following a disastrous first half.
"Tom is inspirational, full stop. We know what he's about and we have got to deal with it," said Rowntree, a veteran of numerous tough battles against the Scottish front row since he made his international debut against them at Twickenham back in 1995.
Rowntree came off the replacements bench to make a cameo appearance when Jason Leonard suffered a blood injury and, although he had no difficulty remembering the date of his first appearance for England, he could not recall the score.For the record, England won 24-12 and Rowntree reminisced: "I made my debut against Scotland for Jase as a blood replacement.
"It was great, what can I say, first cap, 12 minutes, can't remember a single thing about it but I can remember the date - March 18, 1995.
"And I've had some great games against them since."
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