Smith’s deep respect for Ashley-Cooper

Date published: October 16 2014

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Conrad Smith has praised ‘good bugger’ Adam Ashley-Cooper ahead of his 100th cap in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash.

Conrad Smith has praised ‘good bugger’ Adam Ashley-Cooper ahead of his 100th cap in Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup clash.

The Wallabies back will bring up his century in Brisbane, having consistently been outstanding for his country whether used at centre, wing or full-back.

Smith faced the Waratahs back several times in his career and revealed that the respect runs deeps between the two stars on and off the field.

“He’s someone I’ve got a lot of respect for the way he plays. He’s a good bugger as well. I enjoy having a chat after the game and during the game he doesn’t mind sharing a word,” Smith told Stuff.

“It’s similar to Jean [de Villiers] playing his 100th [for South Africa in Wellington last month].

“They’re probably the two midfielders that I’ve played the most against and probably respect the most.

“I’ve enjoyed the battles on the field, and the friendships off the field.”

Australia’s build-up has been disrupted by the ongoing Kurtley Beale saga, but Smith actually believes that the Wallabies will be better off and welcome the chance to get back out on the field.

“Most of us have been in teams where you deal with that stuff unfortunately,” added Smith.

“I think it helps if anything, it just fuels the fire. You just want to get through stuff like that and play rugby.

“That’s the feeling we’ve [the All Blacks] got seeing them have to deal with it. They’ll come out and be well prepared.

“The week the Wallabies have had will make them really, really dangerous. They’ve certainly got their backs against the wall and they’ve got nowhere to go but to come out and try and show their fans, their public and themselves that they’re good rugby players.

“Unless you’re in that environment you don’t know what’s happening. All we know is they’re copping it and that will make them stronger.”

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