21 Jun 2013

Smith given chance to cement All Blacks wing spot

9:56 am on 21 June 2013

The All Blacks back Ben Smith appears to have finally shaken the utility tag thanks to his excellent form on the wing against France.

Smith has spent his 14-test career switching between fullback, centre and wing while struggling to cement a spot in the starting side.

However he will start his third consecutive test on the right wing on Saturday, with the coach Steve Hansen resisting the temptation to give him a run at centre.

Hansen says they're unlikely to experiment with Smith playing in the No.13 jersey, despite the incumbent Conrad Smith making himself unavailable for the end of year tour.

Hansen says they may shift Rene Ranger to centre later in the game, despite him confirming that he'll leave New Zealand rugby for France at the end of the season.