If you thought Conrad Smith seemed a successful sort of bloke, it turns out you were right.
As well as being the All Blacks centre, Hurricanes captain, and a qualified lawyer, the 30-year-old is one of the players who has won the most international matches in the world.
Last Saturday's 42-10 win over Ireland at Eden Park was Smith's 50th test win, putting him among a select group of just 21 All Blacks to achieve that milestone.
Significantly, of that group, Smith is the most successful, having won 89.3 per cent of the 56 tests he has played, ahead of superstar team-mates Richie McCaw and Dan Carter.
"Yeah, I've been made aware of it," Smith said yesterday, suggesting some light-hearted ribbing from his peers. "Those are the sort of little stats someone else fishes out that you are not really aware of yourself, but it's nice.
"It tells you something about the team I've been involved in for a number of years, so it's nice recognition.
"Most players just get caught up in looking ahead. You rarely sort of reflect on things; you wait until the day you retire to think about things like that, but little reminders every now and then are nice."
Since his debut against Italy in 2004, Smith has lost just six times in the black jersey, three times each against Australia and South Africa.
During his test career the All Blacks have played 96 tests and lost 15, but Smith's first defeat did not come until 2008, a 30-28 loss to South Africa in Dunedin.
Notably, among the nine losses he did not take part in was the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France, when Mils Muliaina wore the No 13 jersey.
Not surprisingly, All Blacks dominate the list of players with 50 test wins, with another centre, Australia's Jason Little, the best of the rest with a 77.3 per cent success rate.
For all that, it's difficult to go past McCaw, who has played 104 tests for 92 wins.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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