All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith has agreed to stay in New Zealand with the Highlanders beyond the current Super Rugby season.
All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith has agreed to remain in New Zealand with the Highlanders beyond this season.
Arguably the best number nine in the world, Smith has starred for the Highlanders in Super Rugby in 2014 during their run at the play-offs.
Smith has been with the Highlanders since 2010 but with his contract due to expire at the end of the year, the 25-year-old is now going nowhere.
''It's pretty much sorted, it's just sorting out the length of [the contract] really. This is my home and it's going to be my home for the next few years,'' Smith told the Southland Times.
''I've tried to be loyal. These guys gave me my shot and I was able to live out my dream of becoming an All Black here.
“I owe them a lot for that and I've got to be pretty honest about the coaches too – Jamie [Joseph] has helped me a lot and then Brownie [Tony Brown] has helped my game go to another level this year.
“It buzzes me out a bit about how I've been going, and I put a lot of that down to Brownie.”
Smith added that playing under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium had played a major role in his development so far.
''This stadium has helped me. I play half my games under a roof with a dry ball. That can be bad for you, but it suits me and it suits us as the Highlanders,” added Smith.
''I love it down here. I love being a Highlander and intend to be for a few years.''