22 Oct 2009

Conrad Smith lone AB this week in Air NZ Cup

8:18 am on 22 October 2009

Southland travel to Canterbury in a mouth-watering Ranfurly Shield clash tonight, with an added incentive - take the Shield and secure a semi-final berth.

There are still five teams chasing the remaining play-off places while there'll be just one All Black playing provincial rugby in this final week of pool play.

Conrad Smith's been bracketed at centre for Wellington along with the Canterbury and Crusaders-bound Robert Fruean and Alapati Leuia.

The Lions play Tasman at Blenheim on Friday, with Piri Weepu again playing despite not being considered fit enough to go on the end of year tour. He's going to have ankle surgery in the off-season.

A win will secure Wellington a home semi-final.

And despite being found guilty of stamping, Tasman lock Joe Wheeler is clear to play against Wellington.

Wheeler was cited for allegedly stamping on Otago's Alando Soakai at Carisbrook last Saturday.