“We have to walk towards the pressure” - Smith

By Jamie Wall

Veteran All Black fullback Ben Smith has played down speculation that he may end up being captain of the side to play the first test of the season. The squad to play Argentina will be short of a great deal of their leadership group, given that the Crusaders players will not be making the trip, but Smith said that he “hadn’t really thought about it.” when asked if he was in line for the top job.

It was a mostly relaxed All Black media session today in Auckland, with the majority of the early talk in Anton Lienert-Brown and Smith’s press conference about watching the Black Caps’ stunning Cricket World Cup semi final win in the early hours of the morning.

Both men admitted a bit of tiredness after staying up till 2am to watch the climax of the match, and joked to media to keep it brief so they could return to their rooms at the Heritage Hotel and go to sleep.

However, there was a serious side to the start of what will be a monumental season for the All Blacks. When asked if they were feeling the pressure, Lienert-Brown hesitated and simply answered ‘good question’.

“I think for us as players you’ve got to walk towards that pressure. We’re pretty privileged to be doing what we’re doing so you’ve just got to put your best foot forward.” Said Smith.

Smith, who issue to depart New Zealand after the World Cup to take up a contract in France, said that he’s not really thinking about how this season will be his last.

“When it’s all done I’ll sit back and reflect.”

The All Blacks’ first test is in Buenos Aires against Argentina on July 21. The squad to play the test will depart Auckland tomorrow.