Wellington - All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will captain the Hurricanes in next year's Super Rugby competition.
Smith, on leave after the Rugby World Cup, will rejoin
the Hurricanes squad in February before the side's first pre-season
match against the Blues on February 4.
He made his debut for the franchise in 2004, the same
year he also made his first appearance for the All Blacks, and has
accumulated 66 caps for the Hurricanes and 55 for New Zealand.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett says Smith's experience and leadership were clear during the World Cup.
"Conrad is a strong and confident leader. I know he's really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead."
The Hurricanes finished ninth in last year's Super Rugby,
as conflict between Hammett and his senior players saw All Blacks Piri
Weepu, Aaron Cruden, Ma'a Nonu, Hosea Gear and Andrew Hore all move to
The Hurricanes squad began their pre-season training on Monday.