Ben Smith has led a rugby training session with children in Wanaka this morning after a young fan sent him a handwritten note asking the All Black to attend.
A young rugby player named Kade sent the All Blacks and Highlanders star the note which Smith responded to yesterday. It was shared on the Upper Clutha Trading Post community Facebook group for people in Wanaka and the surrounding region.
"To Ben," the message read. "Would you like to come and teach us some rugby skills?"
Smith wrote: "Hey, just got this message from some kids along the road. I'll be down at the rugby fields in Wanaka at 8.30am tomorrow. If any kids want to come down and chuck a rugby ball around and help me with my training they are welcome."
Smith was true to his word, leading the session this morning with plenty of local children taking part.
Wanaka AB's fans out in force for impromptu rugby training with Ben Smith pic.twitter.com/MTcinwKCrH— Lisa Davies (@ldaviesonenews) January 11, 2016
2015 was a huge year for Smith, who got married, had a baby daughter, won a Super rugby title and won a World Cup.
Following the win, he was able to have some downtime with wife Katie and 10-month-old daughter Annabelle, who journeyed to see him play in the knockout games at the Rugby World Cup.
Smith said that had made everything a bit easier for him to deal with at the climax of the tournament.
"It was a long time away - six to seven weeks before the family got there. It was awesome having them over there, just to get to spend some time with them. I had to change the nappies on my day off.''
Now that the summer break is over, Smith's focus is on leading the Highlanders to another Super Rugby win alongside co-captain Shane Christie.