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.
Spectacular speed, sound defence and reliability under the high ball has made 2016 All Blacks Vice Captain Ben Smith a great choice at wing, fullback or centre - and it's that versatility that makes him a regular selection in the All Blacks starting XV.
He played in 10 Tests in 2015 and was one of a small number of All Blacks to play in all seven matches during RWC 2015, starting six at fullback.
In 2013, Smith stepped things up a gear and had an outstanding season, appearing in every Test as the All Blacks became the first international side in the professional era to go through the season unbeaten. His performances at wing and centre saw him nominated for five national and international awards, including international Player of the Year. Come 2014 and Smith was an automatic selection in the All Blacks, appearing at both right wing and fullback and carrying a heavy workload with 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.
v Italy in Milan 15 Nov 2009
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