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Aaron Smith is the most capped New Zealand scrum-half of all time and was part of their 2015 World Cup winning team; Smith, 32, also extended his contract with Otago Highlanders in Super Rugby Aotearoa

Last updated: 02/03/21 6:39 am

Aaron Smith has appeared in 97 test matches for New Zealand, the most scrum-halfs in the country’s history

All Blacks half-back Aaron Smith has re-signed with New Zealand rugby until the 2023 World Cup in France.

Smith, the most capped New Zealand scrum-half of all time with 97 test appearances, will also remain with his longtime provincial team Otago Highlanders as part of his expansion.

“Last year has been a difficult year for the sport, but I hope that soon we will see the world rugby calendar start to take shape and that there will be a lot of exciting new challenges ahead,” said the player. 32 years old. a New Zealand rugby statement on Tuesday.

Smith was the All Blacks scrum half in the 2015 World Cup final victory over Australia at Twickenham and in their semifinals race in Japan in 2019.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has praised Smith’s re-engagement.

“He plays a huge role in the way we play the game and is such a vital cog for us on and off the pitch so that’s great news,” said Foster.

Smith played his 151st game for the Highlanders in the Aotearoa National Super Rugby competition in New Zealand last weekend and is only two years away from hitting compatriot All Black Ben Smith’s record (153) at the club.

Aaron Smith: New Zealand half-back re-signs 2023 World Cup and commits to Highlanders’ future |  Rugby news

Smith celebrates goal in 2019 World Cup quarter-final victory over Ireland

“As co-captain ‘Nug’ is an important part of this team,” said Highlanders coach Tony Brown.

“He continues to be world class and works extremely hard to maintain it.

“This hard work and professionalism is a fantastic example for the rest of the team, especially the young people who come into the team.”

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