Smith inspiring the Highlanders

Date published: June 18 2015

Highlanders winger Patrick Osborne has paid tribute to his team-mate and back-three colleague Ben Smith ahead of Saturday.

Jamie Joseph's side return to Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin for the weekend's play-off Qualifier with the Chiefs to see which Kiwi side will join the Hurricanes in the semi-finals.

Smith has led the side superbly this season either with or without Nasi Manu in the side. The influential number eight is leaving the side to join Edinburgh in the PRO12, with Osborne noting that Smith and the Highlanders want Manu to go out on a high.

"Ben Smith mentioned that he wanted to give Nasi one more game at home before he leaves for Scotland," Osborne told Stuff.

"[Smith] just doesn't seem to get angry. You just get confidence from seeing someone so calm. I don't know what it is about him but he is just a very cool person."

Osborne added that returning home after several away games was a welcome boost for the group ahead of Saturday's big game.

"We are just happy to back playing in Dunedin, one more time, because we have had so many away games in the back half of the season. We have missed it."