Smith to skipper Canes

All Blacks centre Conrad Smith has replaced Andrew Hore as the captain of the Hurricanes.

Smith beat loose forward Victor Vito to the post, but coach Mark Hammett explained that Vito will still have a job to do in terms of leadership.

‘Conrad is a strong and confident leader,’ said Hammett. ‘I know he is really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. We will have a leadership group that will be there to work with him and take this team to the next level and into the future.

‘We see Victor as a leader and when I spoke to him I told him he is still one of our captains in this team, but in terms of leading the campaign and the media side of it Conrad will be that person for a combination of reasons.’

Smith has been on leave since the All Blacks won the World Cup last month and will only be available to the Wellington franchise in February. The Canes will play their first pre-season match against the Blues on 4 February.