Smith was a Wellingtonian through and through and it showed in his footy where he never wavered from his roots. When others were being dumped or jumping ship from the Hurricanes back in 2008, he chose to stay. He is the record holder for appearances with the Hurricanes at 110 and will likely finish somewhere in the 90's with the All Blacks. Throughout his career there was no code-hopping, club-swapping or money-chasing. It was all about the game.
Although he didn't captain the Hurricanes until late in his career, Smith was a natural leader of men. He led though his commitment and dedication to the team and by his on field performances where his dogged determination and huge ticker rubbed off on others. As a captain he didn't say much but he was no nonsense and when something needed to be said, it was and others listened.
3. Skill Set
Smith possessed an uncanny ability to read the game, especially at the defensive end. Players much bigger, faster and stronger would feel before a match they might have the edge over Smith but would soon realise that they weren't going to beat him one-on-one [quote]Players much bigger, faster and stronger would feel before a match they might have the edge over Smith but would soon realise that they weren't going to beat him one-on-one[/quote] and would have their hands full themselves. Smith was a gifted passer, could put people into space and had a knack for popping up at the right place at the right time. His unassuming look often led opposition players to relax and that's when the "Worm" would strike.
4. Partnership with Ma'a Nonu
Nonu's game was built around power which was the total opposite of Smith's game but the pair complemented each other perfectly. They were a formidable pairing with both the Hurricanes and the All Blacks and hold the world record for test matches played as a midfield partnership.
5. Humility and 'Normalness'
Smith was quick to heap praise on others and didn't really like the limelight although was always on hand to chat to fans and media if required. Even if he was the best player on the field, the team came first. He was one of those people you might describe as a genuine "good bloke'. There was no arrogance about him whatsoever. That's what made Conrad Smith one of the best and most likeable players in New Zealand rugby.