Conrad Smith will miss ditch warfare

CONRAD Smith will miss a lot of things about New Zealand rugby when he moves to France next year, including the battles with Australia.

Smith will join French outfit Pau after the World Cup, but has plenty to achieve before the move, starting with Saturday's Rugby Championship decider at Sydney's ANZ Stadium - the last game he plays in Australia for the All Blacks.

"It will be something I miss," he said. "They're our brothers across the ditch and it's a pretty unique rivalry.

"I've grown to enjoy the games a lot and everything that comes with these games."

Australia last won the Rugby Championship in 2011 when it was the Tri-Nations and Argentina had yet to join the competition.

That was also a World Cup year and the Wallabies will be hoping to emulate their achievements in that Tri-Nations campaign, when they beat the All Blacks 25-20 in a decider in Brisbane. Smith played in that game.

Early in his career, Smith said he was intimidated by Australian crowds.

"On one of my early Tests I was on the bench and I've never been heckled quite like it," he said.

"I look back now and I laugh, but I know at the time, it was quite intimidating. It still sticks in my mind.

"There's plenty of niggle and the supporters love ribbing you more when you play in Sydney than what you get in Jo'burg. It's all part of it and it makes it enjoyable."

- APNZ


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