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Returning Smith admits to nerves

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Sportal.co.nz     07 Sep 2012     Getty Images

He's been out of action having suffered a detached retina and is making his first appearance since the Ireland series in June.

"I must say you get a little more nervous after you have sat out for a few more weeks, you worry about what you might have lost and things like that and it is impossible to know. I think you just rely on experience there.

"I've had a break from the game before and it's never affected me too badly so I've just got to trust that I've done all the work and there's obviously 14 other pretty decent players around me so that will make the job easier for me," he said.

With that in mind it had been enjoyable being back into proper preparation mode after having been running with the team through the earlier Tests. He said he felt no lingering after effects from his detached retina.

From his observations of the early Tests in the Championship he felt the intensity of the All Blacks play had been good while 'some' of the defensive work had been outstanding.

There was a need for better decision-making and working with team-mates rather than trying to resolve issues on their own, he said.

While the weather conditions were not bright, Smith said it was often a situation where the circumstances were not really affected by the weather, especially when one team felt it was making headway.

"Argentina, to their credit, when space gets created are very good at using the ball so I think you have got to prepare yourself for all those possibilities," he said.

In a game where there might be long periods when, as a centre, you didn't see the ball, or make a tackle even, it was a case of when play did swing back your way of not trying to make up for lost time by trying to cram 20 minutes without action into a couple of plays.

"You just focus on doing the right things at the right time," he said.

And there was the chance to be back in harness alongside Ma'a Nonu in midfield for the first time in nearly 12 months.

"It's been enjoyable, even in trainings, being back there alongside him and obviously the best part is still to come, playing," he said.