17 Jun 2009

Northern hemisphere not better preparation for Tests

8:01 am on 17 June 2009

The All Blacks centre Conrad Smith refuses to accept suggestions northern hemisphere rugby better prepares players for Test rugby than the Super 14.

In the wake of the All Blacks' loss to France at the weekend in Dunedin, there's been plenty of talk about the style of play in Super 14 being nowhere near as physical as club rugby in England and France, particularly in the forward contact area.

French players suggested the intensity of the Test matched the semi-final of the European club champs, but Smith doesn't believe that was the All Blacks downfall, saying it must be remembered the side had only a week together and was without several leading players.

Meanwhile Smith, who missed the Test with a hamsting injury, should be right for the second Test in Wellington on Saturday.