Legendary All Blacks Star Conrad Smith Embraces Refereeing Role in New Zealand

After a storied playing career, legendary All Blacks and Hurricanes centre Conrad Smith has embraced a new role as a rugby referee in Taranaki, New Zealand. The two-time Rugby World Cup winner is contributing his expertise and mana to the local game, officiating schoolboy and women’s matches and bringing a new perspective to the challenges faced by match officials.

Legendary All Blacks and Hurricanes Centre Conrad Smith Embraces Refereeing Role in New Plymouth

New Plymouth, [Current Date] – After an illustrious playing career that saw him don the famous All Blacks jersey 94 times and represent the Hurricanes in 126 matches, Conrad Smith has embarked on a new chapter as a rugby referee in Taranaki. The two-time Rugby World Cup winner, whose playing days came to an end in 2018 following a stint with French club Pau, has been officiating in schoolboy and women’s rugby matches in the region.

Smith, who was always intrigued by the influence of rugby’s laws on the game, revealed that the opportunity to referee was not something he had initially considered. However, his role as the head of player welfare and high performance at World Rugby’s International Rugby Players organisation has provided him with valuable insights into the challenges faced by match officials. “Conversations naturally lead to discussion around how challenging laws are to actually apply, so I thought I’d give it a try,” the former All Blacks star told Stuff.

The 42-year-old is not the first player-turned-referee, following in the footsteps of individuals such as ex-Chiefs fly-half Glen Jackson and former Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson. However, unlike his predecessors, Smith does not aspire to officiate at the international level, content to contribute to the game he loves through “good, free-flowing rugby” at the local level.

“To have someone of Conrad’s standing and mana within rugby, contributing to the game and the referee cause within Taranaki is a huge boost to the refereeing ranks,” said Taranaki Rugby Referees Association chairman Lionel Shaw.

The former All Blacks star has embraced his new role, noting the positive response from players despite the occasional disagreement with his decisions. “I’ve loved being involved in the game and watching some great footy,” Smith said. “I’ve also been lucky that all the players have been very supportive, even when they haven’t agreed with my calls.”

As the bbc rugby union, rugby union, rugby union scores, rugby union news, and rugby world cup final enthusiasts eagerly await the start of the new season, the presence of a legendary figure like Conrad Smith as a referee in the Taranaki region is sure to add an extra layer of excitement and expertise to the game.

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