Sport

Smith should play against Wallabies, says Mexted

New Zealand rugby union player Aaron Smith.
New Zealand rugby union player Aaron Smith. PAUL MILLER

RUGBY: Former All Black Murray Mexted is adamant that under-fire halfback Aaron Smith should be named in the side to face Australia in the upcoming Bledisloe Cup test at Eden Park on Saturday.

Smith was sent home from the All Blacks' South African leg of the Rugby Championship after it was revealed the 27-year-old had an encounter with a female at a Christchurch Airport toilet the day after the Tst against the Springboks in Christchurch last month.

Speaking on New Zealand radio station Radio Sport, Mexted said he thought Smith "definitely should be playing” against the Wallabies in the dead-rubber Bledisloe Cup clash this weekend, where the All Blacks will look to set a new world record of 18 for the most consecutive wins.

"He's made a public mistake,” Mexted said.

"He's the best halfback in the world, and has been for a long time.

"He's a professional, and he absolutely should play. No hesitation in my mind at all.”

When asked about Smith's desire to play for the national side this weekend following the controversy that he has immersed himself in over the past week and a half, Mexted, who played in 34 consecutive tests for the All Blacks between 1979 and 1985, held a firm belief that Smith's desire to play this weekend should not be undervalued.

"He's a rugby player, he's a professional rugby player,” he said.

"Of course he wants to get out there and play. Once again, it's pretty clear in my head, it's not a debating subject, really.”

Mexted also stated that Smith would have no issue integrating back into the side, referring to the ease in which his former teammates Graham Mourie and Bruce Robertson slotted back into the All Blacks after they withdrew themselves from the squad to face the Springboks in their hugely controversial tour of New Zealand in 1981.

"He will integrate smoothly back in.

"I remember that (Mourie and Robertson's withdrawal from the 1981 squad), I was in that team... It was all very low key though, they just said they weren't available.

"Both of them played again for the All Blacks, and both of them played really well for the All Blacks.

"In 1982, Mourie was back again, and we toured Australia, I think, and Bruce Robertson came over as a replacement.

"There was no issue. You're a professional team, and provided it's not an action against the team, then I don't think there's any problem with integration.

"This is an off-field incident that had nothing to do with the team, so I don't see an issue.”

There has been speculation over who will start at halfback for the All Blacks come Saturday's test, with Aaron Smith tipped by many to make his All Blacks return, while TJ Perenara has excelled in the starting halfback role in Smith's absence.

The All Blacks team to face the Wallabies at Eden Park is expected to be announced on Thursday.

- NZ HERALD

Topics:  aaron smith all blacks bledisloe cup murray mexted rugby championship wallabies



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

They were his daughter's friends, he breached their trust

Generic Rockhampton Court.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Man to serve time for 'serial' offences against teenagers

72 HOURS ACROSS THE REGION

Rock Force at the Great Western Hotel tonight. Performing all your favourite covers from all your favourite bands.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

Community-minded firefighter always had time for others

Firefighters work to extinguish a house fire on Painswick St, North Rockhampton.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

"Words cannot express the loss we are all feeling.”

Local Partners

Community-minded firefighter always had time for others

PARENTS of the firefighter killed in a plane crash at Hedlow airstrip last week share their memories of their active, community-minded son.


ACROSS THE REGION

CHRISTMAS SONGS: It's Carols by Candlelight in Emu Park this weekend.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

72 HOURS ACROSS THE REGION

Rock Force at the Great Western Hotel tonight. Performing all your favourite covers from all your favourite bands.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

New book to document history of Livingstone Shire

St Faiths School, Yeppoon.

Book includes previously unseen photographs of historical sites

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

REVIEW: One hell of a trip

Under Full Sail is out now.

The discovery of gold brought a rush of migrants

TV Insider: Hail our national treasure Ernie Dingo

Ernie Dingo scuba dives on the Great Barrier Reef in a scene from Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

The beloved TV presenter is back in a new series for NITV

Gigi Hadid: I'm 'taking the pressure off' myself

Gigi Hadid is trying to "take the pressure off" herself this year.

Ricky Gervais announces first dates of world tour

Ricky Gervais has announced his first world tour in seven years.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 'final stages' of divorce

Depp's outstanding divorce money to be paid over 15 months

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Luxury Rocky property goes under the hammer

1 Scully St, Frenchville.

Multiple bidders expected at auction

REVEALED: What's in store for the Savoy Hotel?

The old Savoy Hotel on William St will be acutioned this weekend.

Local businessman snaps up prime property

Coveted Rocky properties 'hustle' under the hammer

SOLD: The happy buyers of 66 Wandal Rd, with Pat O'Driscoll agents Robyn Bentley and Alex Dunnett after the property went under the hammer Saturday.

Auction sales a sign of confidence in the region

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!