Aaron Smith (rugby union)

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Aaron Smith
Full name Aaron Luke Smith
Date of birth (1988-11-21) 21 November 1988 (age 25)
Place of birth Feilding, New Zealand
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 85 kg (13 st 5 lb)[1]
School Feilding High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Half-back (scrum-half)
New Zealand No. 1112
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Feilding Yellows
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2008– Manawatu 43 (45) 9t
correct as of 4 November 2012.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2011– Highlanders 61 (55) 11t
correct as of 21 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2010–
2012–
Māori
New Zealand
3
31
(0)
(47)9t
correct as of 24 August 2014.

Aaron Luke Smith (born 21 November 1988) is a rugby union player who plays for New Zealand – the All Blacks – in international rugby. He plays at half-back for the Highlanders in Super Rugby, and for Manawatu in the ITM Cup. Smith played for the Māori All Blacks in 2010, and was first selected for the All Blacks in 2012.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Provincial Rugby[edit]

Smith made his debut for Manawatu in the 2008 Air New Zealand Cup at the age of 19, making several substitute appearances for the Turbos. This included the historic 25–24 win over Canterbury in Round 1 and the 38–38 draw with Waikato in Round 3. Smith and fellow debutante Aaron Cruden on both of these occasions were substituted on together showing their potential by pulling back big deficits through their brilliance. They would become one of the best 9–10 combinations in the competition for the next four years and were later selected together for the All Blacks in 2012.[citation needed]

For the 2009 Air New Zealand Cup, Smith established himself as the fist-choice half-back for Manawatu, starting all 13 games over the course of the season and scoring his first representative try. He continued as the starter in the 2010 ITM Cup, and established himself as one of the top half-backs in the competition and earning a Super Rugby contract.[citation needed]

In the 2011 ITM Cup, Smith continued to improve and had a successful season, scoring five tries helping the improved Manawatu squad which reached the Championship final.[citation needed]

Super Rugby[edit]

Smith was included in the Blues wider training group for the 2010 Super 14 season, but did not see any game action for the Auckland-based side.[3]

For the 2011 Super Rugby season, Smith signed for the Highlanders, coached by Jamie Joseph, who had previously coached Smith with the New Zealand Māori. Smith had a successful debut season, beating out Sean Romans for the job as backup to starting half-back (and All Black) Jimmy Cowan, and made 12 appearances including 3 starts.

International career[edit]

On the back of his strong performances for Manawatu, Smith, of Ngāti Kahungunu descent, was selected to the New Zealand Māori for their 2010 Centenary Series.[2][3][4] He came on as a substitute against the New Zealand Barbarians after Chris Smylie suffered a fractured cheekbone, and started in the squad's historic victories over Ireland and England.[5][6]

On the back of a successful Highlanders season Smith made his All Blacks debut on 9 June 2012, against Ireland.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aaron Smith". http://www.allblacks.com. New Zealand Rugby Union. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Knowler, Richard (16 June 2012). "The rise of All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Knowler, Richard (23 June 2012). "Diminutive halves the pride of Manawatu". Fairfax New Zealand. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "NZ Maori team to play England named". allblacks.com. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "New Zealand Maori 31–28 Ireland". BBC. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Maori 35–28 England". BBC. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Robson, Toby (11 June 2012). "Young guns at home in All Blacks side". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 

External links[edit]