Smith available for Turbos
on Wednesday, 15 September 2021.
Posted in Turbos News
The Manawatū Rugby Union is excited to confirm New Zealand’s most capped halfback Aaron Smith will be available for the Turbos in the Bunnings Warehouse NPC.
Smith opted to miss the All Blacks’ Rugby Championship due to the impending birth of his second child.
The 32-year-old, who has been under contract with Manawatū since 2008, has re-joined the Turbos as they prepare to return to the field following the Covid lockdown.
Manawatū Rugby Union chief executive Andrea Jackson was pleased to have a player of Smith’s calibre joining the team.
“It is special to see a player who has achieved so much over his career show so much enthusiasm to play for his province,” she said. “Aaron has so much passion for the region and brings a huge amount of mana.”
He is available for selection for the Turbos’ fourth round match against Northland in Palmerston North on September 25.
With 45 games to his name in the green and white jersey, Smith has a chance to tick off another career milestone this season.
Earlier this year Smith became the first New Zealand halfback to play 100 tests for the All Blacks and captained the All Blacks for the first time.
Last season he played his 150th game for the Highlanders. Jackson said Smith’s experience would be invaluable to the team.
“We saw the impact he had on our programme at the start of last season and are excited to see him have the chance to register 50 games for Manawatū.”
“Unfortunately last season both games Aaron played were without crowds due to Covid restrictions. While the current restrictions also limit crowds, we hope that we will be back to level one soon to allow our fans to see one of the world’s best players out on the field at Central Energy Trust Arena.”
Smith debuted for Manawatū in 2008. A regular in the team between 2008 and 2011, he racked up 43 games before his elevation to All Blacks level removed him from provincial rugby. Last season Smith played two games at the start of the Turbos campaign and bagged two tries against Otago.
He will compete for game time with Logan Henry and Griffin Culver, with Jamie Booth serving in a coaching capacity after being ruled out for the season as he continues to recover from last season’s broken leg.