Test flanker George Smith is in the mix to become the first Wallabies player to win the John Eales Medal twice.

back-row partner Rocky Elsom and playmaker Matt Giteau loom as the
favourites in an open field to win Australian rugby union’s best and
fairest award on Thursday night in Sydney.

Centre Berrick Barnes is a dark
horse for the Eales medal, while captain Stirling Mortlock and number
eight Wycliff Palu could also feature.

Smith was the inaugural winner of the award in 2002.