There are beautiful landscapes in the deep south of New Zealand, a place where hard work and honesty and being a good bugger are deeply important, that are less cherished than Ben Smith.
Central Otago in the autumn – or any season, for that matter – the early-morning light on the Taieri Plain, the white Mosgiel sign (all in capital letters) above State Highway 1 which provides an obvious link to the glamour of Hollywood, none of those matter a jot compared with the continued good health and selection in the black jersey of one B. Smith, All Black number 1100, a player who never really thought he was anything special but who has now collected 79 test caps.
That Smith has been left out of the All Blacks team to play the Wallabies at Eden Park on Saturday may not come as a huge surprise to even his most ardent supporters, however, and there are plenty around the world, particularly in the vicinity of the Green Island Rugby Club.
The 33-year-old has not been at his best in the All Blacks' first three tests of the year, and he has started them all. And yet, fans of the man known variously as Ben from Accounts, and/or Bender, fear not.
He's not about to hand back his calculator. He's going to Japan with the All Blacks and, once he gets some sharpness back into those legs which have embarrassed many a would-be defender over the years, he could yet get the send-off he deserves before he joins French club Pau.
The major issue as far as his relatively mediocre form is concerned is a lack of sharpness caused by a lack of test-level match fitness. It's easy to forget that he tore his hamstring so badly while playing for the Highlanders in May that there were concerns he wouldn't get a chance to play at the World Cup at all.
That he got himself back to play against the Crusaders in the quarter-final in Christchurch in June was probably a blessing and a curse. It was a rush, but he was desperate to play, and a diet of test rugby since has been a form hindrance rather than an accelerator. He looked tired in the aftermath of that match, but not finished.
Smith's strengths are his razor-sharp instincts and reliability combined with an uncanny knack of breaking the first tackle and providing the perfect pass. That he couldn't re-discover those things at Optus Stadium, in particular, will disappoint but not necessarily concern the selectors.
It's clear an in-form Smith wouldn't have tied himself in the defensive knots that allowed Reece Hodge to sprint in for his first try last weekend. There were other errors, too, and he hasn't been as safe under the high ball as usual, but the lines are fine at this rarefied level, as fellow casualties Owen Franks and Rieko Ioane are discovering.
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He appears to be over-thinking things - perhaps an occupational hazard for a man with such attention to detail. An uncluttered mind and full confidence in his body should allow Smith to find what has set him apart for a long time. Declines in outside backs can come quickly and almost without warning; Mils Muliaina's and Julian Savea's, for example.
But don't write off Smith yet. Hansen and his fellow selectors have done the numbers and they remain positive for a man who has replaced a certain recent former All Black skipper as the pride of the south.