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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Save our koalas with a signature

A photo of Mr Cuddles, which was taken by Bernard Jean.  Mr Jean is an active member of Queensland Koala Crusaders and volunteers a lot of time taking locals/tourist around Noosa National Park, showing them our few remaining Koalas and Mr Cuddles played an integral role in this undertaking.  There have been so many people, worldwide, who through Mr Cuddles went away with a better understanding of our Koalas, their habits, what they liked to eat, what their favourite trees are, and what they mean to local people... he will be missed by all.

An online petition needs your support

Green group calls for cap on Noosa daytrippers

CAP PLAN: Holiday crowds flock to Noosa Main Beach - day tripping may face a limit.

Residents interests 'pushed to one side' during peak season

Everyone's loving new Eumundi lager

Chuck was thrilled to bring one of the first kegs to the Imperial Hotel to try.

Deputy PM and locals try new Eumundi brew at private tasting

Local Partners

Sunshine tennis team of underdogs aces it

What a smash hit result for Noosa as tennis boys blitz fancied rivals

Free Sound Feast music event to feature bluesman

Bluesman Dave Orr.

Sound Feast is the free music event held monthly at The J, Noosa

Migrating mermaid stops for a break at Noosa Heads

Sandy the mermaid is sold on Noosa enough to stay awhile as she migrates her way to Surfers Paradise.

SURFERS was forgotten as Sandy the mermaid fell for Noosa Heads

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Massive firework diverts planes, explodes 1.5km above Coast

1.5km HIGH: Clive Featherby is gearing up to launch the biggest firework seen in Queensland for 15 years.

The 40cm aerial shell will be visible from Bribie Island

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Free Sound Feast music event to feature bluesman

Bluesman Dave Orr.

Sound Feast is the free music event held monthly at The J, Noosa

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Coolum land is hot property

Blank canvas ready to build on

Your heart's desire

Peregian Springs home filled with quality upgrades, inclusions

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!