Olympics a big drawcard for Highlander Smith

MARC HINTON
Last updated 14:08 10/02/2013
Ben Smith
Photosport
BEN SMITH: "It would be pretty special to be in an Olympic campaign for the New Zealand sevens team - I don't know how it's going to work but I'm sure most of the XVs guys if they could would jump at the chance to have a trial."

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Rio de Janiero's not quite on his mind, but former sevens whizz Ben Smith admits a shot at Olympic gold is something he'll consider when the time is right.

Smith is the latest high-profile All Black to put his interest in the 2016 Olympics on the record, though the Highlanders utility back understands his short-term priorities need to remains in XVs rugby.

"It's a couple of years down the track, and I'm trying to get through each year as it comes," said the man who helped New Zealand keep its perfect record intact at the 2010 Commonweath Games. "In a couple of years if the opportunity comes to trial, I'd like to have a crack."

At 26, Smith has time on his side and a skillset tailor-made for sevens. He could be one of a handful in the running to make the World Cup/ Olympics double, alongside the likes of Liam Messam, Israel Dagg, the Savea brothers, Victor Vito and possibly Sonny Bill Williams.

"It would be pretty special to be in an Olympic campaign for the New Zealand sevens team - I don't know how it's going to work but I'm sure most of the XVs guys if they could would jump at the chance to have a trial."

Especially given the trend that Smith's spotted in the abbreviated game.

"Other teams are catching up. It's definitely competitive now and it's going to get even more competitive as we go towards Rio."

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