Smith ‘ready to rock and roll’

Date published: November 4 2014

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Ben Smith is back at peak condition ahead of New Zealand’s match with England this weekend at Twickenham after a break.

Ben Smith is back at peak condition ahead of New Zealand’s match with England this weekend at Twickenham after a break.

The Rugby Championship record try scorer missed the Bledisloe Cup win over Australia and the trip to Chicago to play the USA due to a bug.

Smith’s performances of late for the All Blacks haven’t quite hit the peak he set last year or earlier in 2014 with the Highlanders in Super Rugby.

The 28-year-old though is now in line to return for New Zealand in London, where assistant coach Ian Foster hopes he will add to his record of 16 tries in 35 Tests.

“It has been a great break for him … He is ready to rock and roll,” Foster told Stuff.

“He was run down and fighting a bug. He is a high volume player, I think he played just about every minute for the Highlanders and us last year and he was heading towards that path this year.

“We just felt we had to draw a line in the sand.

“The thing with Ben is that he still wanted to play and he was still capable of playing, but he wasn’t going to play at the level he can in that condition.”

The All Blacks defeated the USA 74-6 without Smith last Saturday.

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