Ben Smith (rugby union)

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Ben Smith
Full name Benjamin Robert Smith
Date of birth (1986-06-01) 1 June 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Weight 91 kg (14 st 5 lb)
School King's High School, Dunedin
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Wing / Fullback / Outside Centre
New Zealand No. 1100
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2008– Otago 42 (55) 11t
correct as of 4 November 2012.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009– Highlanders 88 (105) 21t
correct as of 21 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009– New Zealand 35 (80)16t
correct as of 5 October 2014.

Ben Smith (born 1 June 1986) is a rugby union player who plays for the Highlanders in the Super Rugby competition and for Otago in the ITM Cup. He plays Fullback and on the Wing. He can also play Outside Centre.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Provincial Rugby[edit]

Born in Dunedin, Smith progressed through the junior ranks in the city before making his Air New Zealand Cup debut in 2008. He was one of the breakout stars of the 2009 Air New Zealand Cup, scoring six tries for Otago en route earning a year-end selection for the New Zealand national team (All Blacks). In the 2010 ITM Cup, however, he struggled to make the same impact as Otago endured a nightmare season and bottom-of-the-table finish, while Smith missed several matches while at the Commonwealth Games in India.

Super Rugby[edit]

Smith was selected to the Highlanders squad for the 2009 Super 14 season.[citation needed]

In 2010, Smith started every Highlander game, and scored two tries for the season. He played mainly on the wing, and earned one start at fullback while Israel Dagg was out injured.[citation needed]

Shifted back to his preferred position of fullback for the 2011 Super Rugby season, earned praise from coach Jamie Joseph and consideration for another All Blacks callup.[2] He started every Highlander game for the third season running and added another two tries to his career total.[citation needed] In 2013 he continued as Highlanders fullback and was selected for the All Blacks to play on the wing against France.[1][3] On the 5 December 2013, Smith won the Investec Super Rugby Player of the Year award for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.

International[edit]

In 2009 Smith was included in the 33-member All Blacks squad for the 2009 Autumn Internationals, ahead of veteran All Black winger Joe Rokocoko. Smith made his test debut for the All Blacks against Italy[citation needed] on 14 November 2009 at the San Siro, Milan, which the All Blacks won 20-6. He scored his first All Blacks try[citation needed] against the UK Barbarians on the last game of the tour which the Barbarians ran out winners 25-18 at Twickenham, London, on 5 December 2009.

Smith didn't figure into All Black squads in 2010, but was selected for the rugby sevens squad which competed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, where he helped New Zealand to a gold medal finish.

In 2012 Smith got recalled for the All Blacks.[citation needed]

In June 2013, he played & featured in all 3 games against France in the French NZ Tour Series, on the right wing. In the first game of the 3 Test Series at Auckland's Eden Park, he set up a try to Aaron Smith (in the 32nd minute) and was awarded man-of-the-match award. In the second game on the 15th June at Christchurch's Rugby League Park, he scored a try in the 48th minute of the game. The final game of 3 Test Series, he again scored another in the 35th minute at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium.

In August 2013, during the 2013 Rugby Championship, Smith scored 3 tries in the All Blacks 47-29 win against the Wallabies at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.[4] The following week when the All Blacks faced the Wallabies at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, he scored 2 tries to help New Zealand win 27-16 and to retain the Bledisloe Cup.[5]

In September 2013, Smith scored 2 tries to help the All Blacks win 33-15 against Argentina in La Plata.[6]

In October 2013 following the close of the Rugby Championships, Smith was awarded with the record for the most tries in a Rugby Championship/Tri Nations series, scoring 8 tries in 6 matches.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hinton, Marc (5 June 2013). "Ben Smith shaping as pivotal to ABs backline". Rugby Heaven. Fairfax. Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Burbon, Nathan (14 May 2011). "Highlanders bounce back with a vengeance". Southland Times. Fairfax. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Mortimer, James (5 June 2013). "Ben Smith to continue the evolution of an All Blacks three-quarter" (Press release). New Zealand Rugby Union. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  4. ^ rugbydump.com (17 August 2013). "The All Blacks crush the Wallabies in Bledisloe One in Sydney" (Press release). rugbydump.com. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  5. ^ rugbydump.com (24 August 2013). "All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup with Wellington win over the Wallabies" (Press release). rugbydump.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Sydney Morning Herald (29 September 2013). "Smith puts All Blacks in the box seat for title" (Press release). Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 

External links[edit]