Conrad Smith raring to get back in thick of it

Last updated 18:34 14/05/2013
Conrad Smith
FEELING BETTER: Conrad Smith speaking to the media in Wellington.
Conrad Smith
KNOCKOUT: Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith was concussed while tackling a Bulls player in Pretoria last weekend.

Related Links

Winning confidence returns for the Hurricanes Strong team spirit aids Hurricanes Wilson: More thought needed on head injuries Phil Gifford: Worrying update on concussion Concussed Conrad Smith to stay with Canes Confident Cheetahs target the Hurricanes

Relevant offers

All Blacks

Chat recap: Mark Reason on the All Blacks v Lions first test Lions tour: Five key match-ups worth watching for in the first test at Eden Park Lions tour: Steve Hansen gets a bit scratchy when it comes to Kieran Read Lions tour: Ben Te'o braced for Sonny Bill Williams showdown at Eden Park Lions tour: Beauden Barrett keeps it cool ahead of the heat coming his way Lions tour: Aaron Cruden confirmed on All Blacks bench after knee injury concerns Lions tour: Rieko Ioane has the 'mental fortitude' to handle his biggest test Former Taranaki All Blacks savour test match ritual Lions tour: Warren Gatland says Lions will attack All Blacks more than they have all tour Lions tour: All Blacks coach Steve Hansen hits back, 'I'm not going to bully ref'

Conrad Smith will miss Friday's Super Rugby date with the Chiefs as he targets the Brumbies on May 31 as his possible return from concussion.

The Hurricanes and All Blacks centre today spoke publicly for the first time since being knocked out cold against the Bulls in Pretoria on May 5.

Smith told a media scrum at Wellington's Rugby League Park that he had suffered no post-concussion symptoms apart from ''a really sore neck.''

''I'm feeling fine,'' said the 31-year-old Hurricanes captain, who earlier in the day was named in the All Blacks wider training squad.

''We decided pretty much in the days after that I wouldn't play the following two weeks and that would give me, with the bye, effectively four weeks before the next game [against the Brumbies] and just see how I'm tracking.''

Smith said he had a history of head knocks, but never more than one a year. His KO at Loftus Versfeld was the most dramatic of his glittering career.

''I haven't been knocked out cold, for 40 seconds or whatever it was. So that was a bit different.''

Smith said he never considered retiring because of how quickly he recovered afterwards.

''Probably within half an hour, I actually could remember everything about the day, right up until the tackle. Other people experience mass memory loss, guys get headaches, guys can't concentrate, can't sleep - I had none of that. I'm obviously not going to take huge risks and I don't want it to happen regularly but that's all you can go on really.''

Smith felt like he could play now but would take a conservative course with his recovery, probably easing back into contact training during next week's bye.

The scariest part about the whole ordeal was watching the replay on TV.

''That was the frightening thing, seeing it, because it didn't feel that bad... The memory loss, I've had knocks and have heard about knocks, and that sort of scares you, because you've had this big space where you don't remember anything. But in terms of that I didn't feel bad at all.''

Smith remained in South Africa with the Hurricanes in a non-playing capacity for their win against the Cheetahs last weekend.

Ad Feedback

He had to busily work the phones reassuring family and friends he was OK.

''I think just the fact that it looked pretty bad and I was aware of that having seen it. The following day it didn't look good but I could only assure them that I was fine.''

Smith said he had not yet gone through the concussion protocol tests.

''You do that before you're ready to play so it's quite a stringent process you go through. I'll do that later on, because I'm not playing I haven't bothered doing them.''

He was placed on a precautionary drip at Loftus Versfeld before making a trip to the hospital where scans cleared him of serious injury.

Smith's memories of his role in the 48-14 loss were vivid.

''Everything of the day came back to me and I even remembered right up to the point in the game, knew the score when I came off, how they'd got their points, things like that. For me anyway, that assures me a lot, you don't have that horrible feeling and then it was a matter of making sure the neck was fine. That's all I really had, just a really sore neck and everything else didn't bother me too much.''

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content