29 May 2012

Under 20 championship helps young All Black hopefuls

9:42 am on 29 May 2012

The Highlanders halfback Aaron Smith credits the age group set-up for the rise of so many good young players now being considered for the All Blacks.

Smith's form has kept Jimmy Cowan on the Super Rugby bench this season and it's resulted in him being involved in the All Black training camps.

23-year-old Smith is one of three halfbacks who have burst onto the scene this year, alongside 21-year-old Tawera Kerr Barlow of the Chiefs and 19-year-old TJ Perenara at the Hurricanes.

Smith says he certainly benefited from being involved in the Junior World Championship as it gets a player involved with top coaches.

Smith isn't looking too far ahead... instead believing his matchup with Andy Ellis when the Highlanders take on the Crusaders on Friday night, as the big clash for him.