New recruit Tim Fairbrother took the time to sit down with and interview Rugby Union legend, Conrad Smith. Here are interesting the responses he got on the Haka, practising law and cooking. A great look at one of the leaders of the wallabies biggest rivals.
What is your favourite memory from your childhood?
Playing backyard cricket with my brothers back in Hawera, I just couldn’t get enough of it growing up.
Outside of rugby who do you look up to and take advice from?
That’s easy, it would have to be my dad, he’s always got some great advice for me.
Do you have a hobby?
I’ve really got into my cooking lately so I would say that’s my hobby, I needed a change from cooking on the George Foreman and in the microwave!
Have you noticed a change in the wallabies under the new coaching regime?
Not so much just yet, I think they will need a bit of time before significant changes are seen, they are always going to be competitive regardless of who’s in charge.
What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on the rugby field?
During a Hurricanes game in New Plymouth I got my feet caught in some discarded head tape and tripped over in a stoppage of play, it was terrible as the whole crowd started laughing!. You were playing and also laughing at me!
Why do you think the Haka is so important to the ABS and NZ as a whole, and how do you feel when you’re performing it on the big stage?
I think tradition is the reason it’s so important to New Zealanders, we have been performing it for a long time it makes us unique as a country. I get really pumped up when I perform the Haka; it is a war dance after all!
Not many people know that you are a Qualified Lawyer; do you stay involved in the industry?
Yes I try to do a little bit of work when I can; I work for a law firm called Gibson Sheath who has been really great with my continuous development.
Where do you go to relax and get away from all the fans and constant scrutiny?
It's really hard in NZ, so I try to organise a couple of holidays to remote places every so often, I’m actually heading to Bali after the Test series.
I know from being a professional sportsman how important it is to have a good work/life balance, how do you go about this? And what would you suggest to people who struggle with it?
I think you have to really make a huge effort to do things outside of work, I also think you need to keep challenging yourself. It can be really hard but it’s so important. I really love catching up with friends and family when I can and also keep up with the law work as it keeps me on my toes.
You have been an All Black and Hurricane for a number of years now, what keeps you motivated to back up week in & week out?
It’s changed as I’ve got older, I used to be buzzing just being there but now I’m motivated by the success of the team and the ‘want’ to win.
Being captain of the Hurricanes for a few years now and a leader within the All Blacks, what type of leader are you and how do you keep the troops in line?
I like to think I’m a 'lead-by-example' type of leader, I also make sure that I have a good group of leaders around me. I believe a leader is only as good as the generals he/she has under them.