One of the best halfbacks in the modern game, Aaron Smith ignites backlines with his crisp passes, widely regarding as one of the best in world rugby, while reinforcing defensive lines with a crunching tackle.
He cemented his place as the All Blacks’ senior halfback after two impressive seasons in the black jersey and ignited the Highlanders backline in 2014 and 2015 with his crisp passes, while reinforcing their defensive line with his strong tackles.
An Investec Super Rugby champion with the Highlanders in 2015, he has gone up a level in the blue jersey in 2016.
The former apprentice hairdresser, who hails from Manawatu along with good mate Aaron Cruden, was part of the New Zealand Under 20 side that claimed the Junior World Championship in Wales in 2008. In 2010, the Ngati Kahungunu-affiliated Smith made his Maori All Blacks debut. He made his All Blacks Test debut against Ireland in June 2012 and quickly became the All Blacks’ first-choice halfback.
His efforts for both the All Blacks and Highlanders in 2014 saw him recognised with the Tom French Memorial Trophy for the Maori Player of the Year.
v Ireland at Auckland, 9 June 2012
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Manawatu Academy (2007)
Manawatu Under 20 (2007)
Fielding Agricultural High School First XV (2003 –2006)
Manawatu Under 18 (2004 – 2006)
Hurricanes Schools (2005, 2006)
Hobbies: Golf, cricket, gaming, movies, basketball, soccer, touch
Favourite rugby ground: Johnston Park, Feilding
Favourite food: Honey mustard chicken with rice
Favourite actor/actress: Colin Farrell
Favourite movie: 300, Beowulf, Troy
Favourite book: Golf Rules
Favourite music: Opshop, 50 Cent, Kanye West, T-Pain, Chris Brown
Favourite non-rugby sports team: Barcelona FC
Favourite holiday destination: Marlborough Sounds
Who would you like to meet? Bobby Jones (Golfer)
Earliest rugby memories: Frost at rugby Mighty Midgets
I hate it when… It’s windy
I can’t live without… Music, my ipod and my phone
If I wasn’t a rugby player I would be… A golfer