Super Rugby

Highlander Smith to win 150th cap against Crusaders

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All Blacks and Highlanders fullback Ben Smith will play his 150th game for the Highlanders on Friday when the team play the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Highlander #160 he made his debut in 2009 and debuted later that year for the All Blacks (75 games), he has scored 190 points for the southern-most club.

Born and raised in Dunedin, schooled at the local Kings High School and a member of the local Green Island club, he can certainly lay claim to be a true southern man.

An amazingly versatile player who can play equally well at wing or fullback, he has perfected the art of evasion, possessing an uncanny ability to break tackles and a rare skillset the enables him to play largely mistake free rugby week after week.

The consummate professional his performances have earned him the reputation as being a model of consistency over the years.

Head Coach Aaron Mauger is full of praise for his Captain, “it’s difficult to fully express Bender’s contribution to this team and the club over the years, it really is incalculable. He is the ultimate professional in how he conducts himself on and off the field and a great inspiration to any player. It’s fantastic he has reached the 150th game mark; a milestone Ben and his family can be very proud of. ”

Tevita Nabura – knee (season) Liam Squire (knee) Aaron Smith (ankle), Richard Buckman (achilles) Luke Whitelock (calf) Marty Banks (foot) were all unavailable for selection this week.

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown ,2. Liam Coltman,3. Tyrel Lomax,4. Pari Pari Parkinson,5. Tom Franklin,6. Shannon Frizell,7. James Lentjes,8. Elliot Dixon,9. Kayne Hammington,10. Josh Ioane,11. Tevita Li,,12. Teihorangi Walden,13. Rob Thompson,14. Matt Faddes,15. Ben Smith (C)

Replacements :16. Ash Dixon,17. Ayden Johnstone,18. Siate Tokolahi,19. Josh Dickson,20. Jackson Hemopo,21. Folau Fakatava,22. Bryn Gatland,23. Patelesio Tomkinson

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