Hurricanes skipper Conrad Smith has been declared fit enough to lead out the Wellington side against the Stormers on Saturday.
This will be Smith's 67th Super Rugby cap as a Hurricane, but his first as the team's new captain. Smith had previously taken over the reins once back in 2007 against the Reds before being named in November as the team's new leader for 2012.
The Hurricanes captain took an extended break following New Zealand’s successful World Cup campaign and returned to Hurricanes pre-season training on Monday, February 6.
The All Blacks centre had been backpacking around the globe as part of a special agreement with the Hurricanes and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) for extra time off.
When the 30-year-old returned he was worried that he would not have undergone enough conditioning to be ready to tackle the Stormers.
However, he will lead out his team for their opening match in the new campaign and is excited to get cracking.
"I've had a good break, but now I'm ready to get back into it and tackle the season ahead," Smith said. "We have a passionate and talented group of players."
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