Hurricanes name Smith as new captain
New Zealand international Conrad Smith has been chosen to be the new Hurricanes captain for the 2012 Super 15 season.
The 30-year-old centre beat former stand-in skipper Victor Vito for the role.
The announcement was made by coach Mark Hammett in a training session earlier this week, but Smith wasn't in attendance as he still hasn't returned from his off-season holidays, following a successful World Cup campaign.
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Hurricanes are 5000/1 to win Super 15 Grand Final 2012 while Crusaders are 7/1 and Reds can be backed at 5000/1.
Speaking in an interview with Sportal, Hammett said: "After finishing last year, one thing looking forward was to look at who was going to lead this group forward. I asked several players about a preferred leader and really the responses from both the players and the wider organisation was that Conrad was the right man for the job.
"You want really high leadership on-field and off-field – guys that talk the talk but also walk the walk. That's critical in any great leader.
"The other thing about a leader like Conrad is that leadership and character are qualities that ooze from him. That's what he is. But I believe there are a lot of young guys who are going to fill that brief of what I call character and they are certainly going to have a great person to look up to in Conrad."
Smith becomes former Hurricanes skipper Andrew Hore's successor. Hore has left the club along with players like Ma'a Nonu, Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden and Hosea Gear. Other outgoing players are Neemia Tialata, Rodney So'oialo and John Schwalger, who have all departed to try out new adventures in other leagues.
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