Aaron Smith has made it clear where his scissors aren't going when he cuts the hair of his All Blacks team-mates. Smith, a trained hairdresser, is often in demand leading up to a Test, and he expects a busy couple of days ahead of Saturday's match against England at Twickenham, but "there's definitely a hit-list of people I don't do".
"There's just a straight 'No, I'm not cutting your hair'," he said, wary of getting it wrong for any player with 50 Tests or more under his belt. He has made a rule to send them elsewhere, saying the prospect of getting it wrong for a senior player will send his nerves into overdrive.
Smith was unequivocal when it was suggested that he might make an exception for 122-Test captain Richie McCaw.
"No way. I'd be like this the whole time," he said, quivering his hands. "I wouldn't even go near it, bugger that."
Smith says he has a passion for his role with the scissors, finding it calms him ahead of big games. "I know as a player, that if you look good and feel good you tend to play good as well."
He has already gone to work this week on team-mate Brodie Retallick, giving the lock a short-cropped appearance. But Retallick's review wasn't glowing. "I don't know if I was very happy with it to be fair," he said. "But it was a free haircut, so you can't complain."