Ben Smith is a popular figure in Dunedin but the affable winger’s pace and power don’t hold the same appeal for his opponents, whom he routinely manages to get past with deceptive footwork and a canny ability to spot the gaps in a defensive line.
Able to cover a range of backline positions, the versatile Smith has carried a heavy workload for the All Blacks in 2014, his nine Tests and three tries backing up an exciting 2013 in which he scored 11 tries.
A gold-medal winner in 2010 at the Delhi Commonwealth Games with New Zealand Sevens, Smith will be hungry to add to his Tests in 2009 and 2011, the latter of which was played at his old hunting ground, Carisbrook.
Smith was loaned to Southland for the Air New Zealand NPC in 2005 and an outstanding season led to his call-up for the Highlanders. He can play on the wing or at centre and is a nephew of the 1983-84 All Black wing Bruce Smith.
2007 is the first year Ben Smith has been selected to represent his country, with his inclusion the New Zealand Under 21 squad.
v Italy in Milan 15 Nov 2009
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