World Cup-winning All Blacks centre Conrad Smith is about to go on holiday unaware of whether he will be made the new captain of the Hurricanes when he returns.
Smith leaves for an extended overseas trip with his partner, which was planned when he committed to the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) two years ago, and will only arrive back just before the beginning of the new Super Rugby season.
He told the Dominion Post: "I'm off a bit longer than the others and not back till early February. I'll be back for the pre-season games."
Smith explained that the agreeement with the NZRU was a vital factor to ensuring that he stayed in New Zealand rather than seeking a more lucrative contract abroad.
"It's (travelling) something I feel I have missed by continuing to play here (and not overseas). I don't really want to play overseas so as long as I get my fix of travel, hopefully it will keep me fresh and loving playing in New Zealand," he said.
Smith is one of the few senior players left in Wellington and is viewed as a front-runner for the captaincy along with All Blacks loose forward Victor Vito.
Coach Mark Hammett has delayed naming his captain until next year, fuelling speculation that he is doing his utmost to convince Smith to take the armband.
Smith commented: "I don't know (about the captaincy), I'm working through that.
"There's no rush with it. I've just come off (a long season) and he (Hammett) doesn't want to rush me into anything, so it's something we'll talk about and sort out in due course," he added.
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