Italian job excites Smylie

Date published: July 31 2015

Treviso scrum-half Chris Smylie cannot wait for his first stint outside of New Zealand to begin when he runs out for the Italian side this PRO12 season.

Smylie, who has played for the Highlanders, Hurricanes (twice) and Blues over his career, took the decision to move to the northern hemisphere for 2015/16.

At 33 he is in the later stages of his rugby career and joins the likes of Jayden Hayward, Sam Christie, Salesi Manu and Dean Budd at the Stadio Monigo.

"It's my first experience away from New Zealand and I am excited," he told Treviso's website.

"I can't wait to move into a house, learn the Italian language and culture but at the same time I'm not going to be a tourist.

"I've come here with the idea of being available to the team and to do my best for the coaches.

"I knew about Treviso through my friend Jayden [Hayward] who I played with in Taranaki. He raved about it, saying that there is a great atmosphere and nice people. 

"It's a competitive team that plays good rugby and aims to improve. They were looking for a bit of experience and I hope to be able to contribute to the cause."

Treviso have strengthened in the off-season with Alberto De Marchi, Filo Paulo, Robert Barbieri, Luke McLean and Tom Palmer joining an excited Smylie at the club.

"I like to see myself as a positive person, ready to encourage the team and to do more than talk," added Smylie when looking ahead to the campaign.

"Of course there is always the option to run with ball in hand but as a scrum-half my main task is distributing to my team-mates, trying to put them in the best position."