"The GOAT" - All Blacks star Aaron Smith names his all-time dream team - Ruck

“The GOAT” – All Blacks star Aaron Smith names his all-time dream team

Aaron Smith’s dream team of players he’s played with or against could compete with any team from any generation of rugby.

One of the premier halfbacks of the modern game, Smith ignites backlines with his bullet-like pass, which is widely regarded as one of the best in world rugby, while reinforcing defensive lines with a crunching tackle. 

In 2008, Smith was part of the New Zealand Under 20 side which claimed the Junior World Championship in Wales and in 2010, the Ngati Kahungunu-affiliated Smith made his Māori All Blacks debut.

Smith quickly established himself as the All Blacks’ first-choice halfback amidst fierce competition, playing 13 Tests in his debut season in 2012. He missed just one Test match in 2017 and became the most capped All Blacks halfback of all time at 82 Tests in 2018.

A Super Rugby champion with the Highlanders in 2015, in 2014 Smith was recognised with the Tom French Memorial Trophy for the Māori Player of the Year for his performances with both the All Blacks and the Highlanders.

Smith captained the All Blacks for the first time in a Test match against Fiji in Dunedin in July 2021. He also brought up his 100th Test for the All Blacks in the same year, against Australia at Eden Park.

Speaking to SA Rugby Mag, the All Black legend selected his ‘perfect XV’.

BACK-THREE:

15 Ben Smith: Mr Calm. Fearless in attack and defence and massive work rate.

14 Shane Williams : Speed kills and add his foot work! Changed the game.

11 Jonah Lomu : A superstar. And what he did at the 1995 World Cup no one will forget.

CENTRES:

13 Brian O’Driscoll: Just had it all! Speed, power, vision.

12 Ma’a Nonu: The complete 12. Power mixed with skill. Big-game player.

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