Smith given Hurricanes captaincy
November 22, 2011
Conrad Smith took his bow for the Hurricanes back in 2004 © Getty Images
The Hurricanes have handed Conrad Smith the captain's armband ahead of the 2012 Super Rugby season.
The Wellington franchise oversaw a huge clearout over the close-season with the likes of Piri Weepu, Ma'a Nonu and Aaron Cruden all leaving to pastures new but Mark Hammett has opted to named World Cup winner Smith as his captain for the new season. Victor Vito was another option for the captaincy - after he filled the role late last year - but Hammett has opted for Smith's vast experience.
"Conrad is hugely excited about the role," Hammett said. "During the World Cup I wanted to obviously give him some space, but even during the tournament he was texting and calling to talk about next year's campaign.
"He is focused on doing something special as captain and for this team.
"We see Victor as a leader and when I spoke to him I told him he is still one of our captains in this team, but in terms of leading the campaign and the media side of it Conrad will be that person for a combination of reasons."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown