- Date of birth
- 105 (21t)
Conrad Smith is one of the pre-eminent centres in world rugby, and he ended his 10th season in international rugby in 2014 with 85 Test appearances to his name.
This after he captained the Hurricanes in 2014 and reached the milestone of 100 games for his home franchise.
Smith ended the 2011 as a Rugby World Cup winner, playing an integral role in the All Blacks’ campaign and ending his eighth season playing for New Zealand with 55 Test caps to his name. Smith’s 2011 Super Rugby season was cut short due to injury, but returned in 2012 to captain the side where he led from the front in every match and proved one of the competition’s most valuable players.
Previously specialist centre, Smith had played a full part in the Hurricanes’ 2010 season, surpassing 50 appearances for the franchise early in the year and missing just two matches. Smith’s partnership with second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu in the midfield once again proved an effective one and Smith himself was a rock on defence and creator on attack. He was duly selected in the All Blacks for the winter Tests that followed.
This followed on from an outstanding 2009 Super 14 season for the Hurricanes, alongside Nonu and also scoring five tries himself. Blessed with tremendous vision, excellent distribution skills and a committed, fearless defensive game, Smith was recognised as the first choice centre for the All Blacks.
Smith’s rise was meteoric, shooting from the Wellington Bs into the All Blacks in a little over eighteen months. Known as Snaky Smith for his ability to slip through a gap, Conrad’s rapid success was largely due to him being the antithesis of modern centres. Only slightly built and with a propensity for brain over brawn Smith was like a breath of fresh air, bringing speed and vision and an uncanny ability to exploit half chances.
He first graced the Vodafone Wellington Lions squad in 2003 and played himself into the starting fifteen. The Hurricanes selectors gave him a berth in 2004, where he made one appearance off the bench against the Cats.
After another eye-catching NPC season for the Lions he made the All Blacks’ spring tour to Europe, scoring a try with his first touch of the ball against Italy, while his second test was the All Blacks’ famous 45-6 victory over France.
Returning home, Smith made ten appearances for the Hurricanes in 2005, in midfield partnership with Tana Umaga, before being selected for four home tests in 2005, including the 38-19 win over the British and Irish Lions in Auckland.
Smith was set for a big year in 2006, but cruelly broke his leg against the Western Force in round two of the Super 14, ruling him out for the entire campaign. He came back to make the All Blacks end of year tour, again playing in big wins over France and Wales. Injury restricted his Hurricanes season in 2007, but he was reselected for New Zealand in May 2007 and scored three tries in as many matches at the World Cup.
He played a full part in the 2008 Hurricanes campaign and took the field in every match, form that saw him make the All Blacks in June 2008 - setting up a brilliant try in the first Test of the year against Ireland in Wellington with a typical scything run.
Smith is a qualified lawyer, was an age-group cricket representative in his home province of Taranaki, his uncle Alan Smith was a three-test All Black between 1967-1970, his great uncle Jack Walter played seven matches for New Zealand in 1925 and his brother Nathan represented Taranaki in 2001.
In December 2012 Smith won the New Zealand Rugby Super Rugby Player of the Award at the annual end of the season Steinlager Awards.
After playing a full domestic and Rugby Championship season in 2013, including partnering Ma’a Nonu for the 50th time in the midfield in Tests and playing in the All Blacks’ epic win over South Africa, Smith took a six-month sabbatical from rugby.
- Provincial Teams
- Provincial Points
- 60 (12 tries)
- Provincial Caps
- Provincial Debut
- 2003 v Bay of Plenty
- Super Rugby Caps
- Super Rugby Points
- 105 (21 tries)
- Super Rugby Debut
- 2004 v Cats
- Test Caps
- Test Points
- 125 (25 tries)
- Test Debut
- 2004 v Italy
- All Blacks Career
- 2004 – present (85 caps)
- Kings of Leon - Fans
- Band or Singer:
- Pearl Jam
- Book or Magazine:
- A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
- A Few Good Men
- Holiday Destination:
- Seafood - Paua and Oysters especially
- Sport Team or Individual:
- Brendon Hart
- Not home enough to look after one, will have plenty when I retire
- Sing or play a musical instrument
- BYC, cooking, tending my roses and cleaning
- Francis Douglas Memorial College
- Favourite subject:
- Worst subject:
- Victoria University, Wellington
- University Course
- Earliest Rugby Memory
- Playing prop for Hawera
- Position When Younger
- First Five Eighth
- Most Admired Rugby Player
- Zinzan Brooke
- Biggest Rugby Influence
- Tana Umaga
- Most Memorable Rugby Moment
- Winning Bledisloe and Tri Nations (Brisbane 2008)