20°C / 22°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 11°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 12°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 3°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 4°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 14°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 25°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 13°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 10°C
  • 3°C
  • Fri
  • 14°C
  • 2°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 11°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 13°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 7°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 5°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 17°C
  • 1°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 1°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Tue
  • 29°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 28°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 11°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 11°C
  • 6°C

All Black Ben Smith ‘on sabbatical’ but will face Wallabies

The All Blacks vice-captain negotiated a sabbatical into his new contract in February and will be unavailable for eight internationals.

FILE: The All Blacks doing the haka. Picture: Twitter/@AllBlacks.

WELLINGTON - New Zealand’s Ben Smith will face Australia in two Tests at the start of the Rugby Championship next month but thereafter play no more rugby until next season, his agent told local media on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old All Blacks vice-captain, widely regarded as one of the best fullbacks in the world, negotiated a sabbatical into his new contract in February and will be unavailable for eight internationals.

The break is aimed at ensuring Smith reaches the 2019 World Cup in good shape and follows a precedent set by Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, who both had sabbaticals between the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.

“Contractually he’s on sabbatical now,” his agent Warren Alcock told the New Zealand Herald.

“He has decided to make himself available for the two Bledisloe games because he has missed some rugby this year.

“We built in quite a significant sabbatical for him because to get him through to 2019 we felt that’s what he was going to need physically and mentally.”

Smith missed the last two Tests against the British and Irish Lions because of what were initially thought to be concussion symptoms but later discovered to be caused by an inner-ear problem.

“What has changed is he was injured and had a reasonable break out of Super Rugby and missed a couple of Lions games so he’s reassessed things and decided he was keen to be available for the next two games and then he’ll take his sabbatical,” added Alcock.

Smith had no intention of following fly-half Carter by using his sabbatical to take up a lucrative contract in Europe, he said.

“It’s always been a non-playing sabbatical with the intention of allowing his body a break,” added Alcock.

“He’s a player that pretty much plays every minute of Super Rugby with the Highlanders and with the All Blacks he plays high minutes as well.”

Smith will miss four Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa and Argentina, the third Bledisloe Cup clash with the Wallabies in Brisbane on 21 October and Tests against France, Scotland and Wales on the end of year tour.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus