Tony Veitch: What to do with Aaron Smith?

What to do with Aaron Smith?

It's fair to say this one has no easy answer. If you'd asked me two days ago, I would have said there was absolutely no way Aaron Smith should play at Eden Park against Australia next weekend because the build up to the Bledisloe clash would centre on the Aaron Smith affair as opposed to an All Blacks team with a shot at history - 18-straight test victories and a new world record for tier one nations.

Now I'm confused after chatting with All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who said: "Our job is to pick the best team available to play, Aaron's job is to play. Our job is get him back to work."

His penalty for the toilet indiscretion will likely be one match and a fine.

The All Blacks are well aware next week could become a media circus if Smith is picked, but they are prepared for it.

The next consideration is whether Aaron Smith is ready. It would be a massive call, given what's played out over the last two weeks.

Even the Prime Minister was asked to comment - just bizarre. But, as those in positions much higher than me point out, the articles have been among the most popular sports stories of 2016. People seemingly can't get enough.

The easy option for the All Black coaches would be to bench Smith next weekend, then re-introduce him when the All Blacks head to Chicago to take on Ireland. There would be fewer media around and Smith could get back to being the best halfback in the world.

I'm confused, so I leave it you: play him or not?

Kieran Foran arrives at Warriors

Wasn't it fantastic to see a smile back on Kieran Foran's face this week at Warriors HQ?

While he sorts out his life and family situation back home, he's getting himself ready for life in New Zealand. I realise the NRL are still to formally register him, but I seriously can't see the Warriors and Jim Doyle doing any deal without a clear guidance on the chances of that being done.

I had reservations about Foran coming back to rugby league so soon. But when you think about the support networks around him and his passion in life, beyond his children, returning to rugby league in a new city makes sense.

I look forward to sitting down with him this week and just chewing the fat to see how he's doing. From darkness comes hope.

Ever wondered what All Blacks dominance looks like?

Check out these two teams. The All Blacks starting XV and a No 2 team. Yes, I know there are a couple of injured players in there but the depth is frightening and it's not unrealistic to expect both of these sides to beat every other team in the world.

Nick the Dick

As a kid, my first love was tennis. The green grass of Wimbledon, that was me! Alas, I never grew, I was never good enough and the best I ever got out of tennis was a VIP card for half-price McDonald's when I made a NSW squad in Australia - I was a hit with my mates, I can tell you.

That leads me into Aussie tennis 'professional' Nick Kyrgios. You've probably all seen the footage of him tanking his match in China, serving like an eight-year-old and behaving like someone even younger.

He even asked the chair umpire to call time so he could go home. This is the same bloke who produced another limp performance at Wimbledon and then said afterwards he'd warmed up by taking on his favourite PlayStation game.

What irks me most about this bloke is the lack of balls shown by the ATP Tour. What Kyrgios did in China was a sellout to the game, to the fans who had paid good money and, most of all, to his talent. He was fined US$16,500 but wasn't suspended. What a joke!

If Nick Kyrgios doesn't really like tennis, as he's previously stated, then, mate, give it away. Andre Agassi suffered the same mental hurdles around the sport he was born into but, apart from one French Open meltdown, when he was more worried about his hair piece than winning a final, Agassi always gave his all.

Kyrgios should have been suspended. Maybe then he will grow up or make the better call and give the game away. What a waste of talent. It makes all of us who had our own aspirations of greatness wonder why.


- How much would you pay to watch Joseph Parker fight for a world title in Auckland? Bucket list event? Or not?

- The All Blacks announced the date for their post-season awards this week. Who is your player of the year right now? Options galore!

- Are you really annoyed with the Black Caps' performances in the tests against India, or is just another meaningless series in conditions where history says we never win?

- Is Gordon Tietjens looking to shove one up NZR by taking the coaching job of Samoa? There's no doubt both parties were keen to see the back of each other.

- NZ Herald

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