12 Apr 2014

Conrad Smith says Hammett's departure a shock

7:43 am on 12 April 2014

The Hurricanes captain and All Black centre Conrad Smith says coach Mark Hammett's decision to quit came as a shock.

Hammett on Thursday announced that he would leave the franchise at the end of the season after four turbulent years in charge.

When he took over veterans Ma'a Nonu, Andrew Hore and Piri Weepu all departed the Hurricanes.

Smith says Hammett told him of his decision a week ago and feels the criticism Hammett received was unfair.