Aaron Smith won't be joining the All Blacks over in Australia
New Zealand Rugby have confirmed that Test centurion scrum-half Aaron Smith won’t be joining up with the All Blacks in Australia for the remainder of the Rugby Championship. The 32-year-old was the starting No9 last month when Ian Foster’s side defeated the Wallabies 57-22 in Auckland.
It was thought that the half-back would eventually link up with the All Blacks this month having missed their recent matches in Perth versus Australia and on the Gold Coast last weekend against Argentina.
However, the NZR have now confirmed that Smith will not be joining them in Queensland for their remaining three matches, this Saturday rematch versus the Pumas and the following two games against the world champion Springboks.
Smith is now also doubtful for the October clashes with the USA in Washington and Wales in Cardiff, as well as the November games versus Italy, Ireland and France which will respectively take place in Rome, Dublin and Paris.
An All Blacks statement read: “Aaron Smith won’t be joining the All Blacks in Australia for the Rugby Championship. The 32-year-old Smith has stayed in New Zealand to be with his family awaiting the birth of his second child. He will join his Manawatu Turbos team this week to train and play in the NPC this season.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 13, 2021
“Smith said the increasing unlikelihood of getting an MIQ spot to return to New Zealand for the birth was the reason for staying in New Zealand. His baby isn’t due until November but he said he didn’t want to risk not being here for the birth.”
Smith explained: “There is a silver lining here about not being with the All Blacks. I’m only five games short of 50 for the Turbos and I’m excited about hopefully making that milestone. The door isn’t completely closed to me joining the All Blacks for the northern tour if our baby comes early. In this environment anything can happen so I have got an open mind. At the moment, though, I just want to focus on being here with my family and enjoying that time and playing for Manawatu. I can’t wait to get the boots on again.”
The Springboks have gone back to work following last Sunday's loss to the Wallabies but they have done so minus one of their specialist locks #Springboks #RSAvAUS #RugbyChampionship #TRC2021https://t.co/HjEbnDjs8Z
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 14, 2021
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