Another day, another game for Ben Smith.

The Highlanders captain will line up for his 126th game in a Highlanders jersey tonight when he leads his side into battle against the Stormers at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

That will leave him one short of Anton Oliver's record for the most games played for the Highlanders.

If the All Black fullback plays the two games in South Africa over the next two weeks he will bring up the record in the match against the Bulls in Pretoria on May 14.


Not that it means much to Smith. He has never been a game counter - nor one for personal goals. It has always been about the team and performing well in the next game.

And with two young kids at home seeking dad's attention, life is busier than ever.

Smith, 30, said yesterday he had learned over the years not to get too keyed up about the match coming up.

"When you get home games it is a lot easier - you just can do everyday things. And when you are coming in at 2.30pm on a game day you are making sure you are switching on," he said.

"When you are at home it is quite easy to switch into family life. Early on, I used to get into game mode too early in the day but I have found it easier.

"All players have different processes. Some guys like to sleep a lot. When the kids let me sleep I sleep. If I can get an hour here or there then that is fine."

Smith and his wife Katie have two young children - Annabelle Clair, 2, and 8-week-old Walter - and have their hands full but Smith said they were making progress.

"[Having two] is a bit of a game changer but we're getting there. You just notice the difference. When you have one someone is getting a bit of a rest or able to do other things. But when there is two you are always on the go and it's pretty full-on."

Smith tonight will have plenty on his plate trying to steer the Highlanders to a victory tonight.

The Stormers were poor against the Crusaders last week and should not be that bad again.

They are not a typical South African team. The side from Cape Town ask the most of every opposing team, keeping the ball in hand, with opponents having to make 125 tackles on average in a game.

It will be big lock Eben Etzebeth's 50th game for the Stormers. Former Highlanders midfielder Shaun Treeby has been named on the bench.

The Highlanders will leave for South Africa tomorrow morning.