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Opinion: Aaron Smith is publicly living through rapid decline from giddy heights of being touted as world's best player

Aaron Smith's fall from grace and personal situation is saddening and as a man and a player he needs to step away from the spotlight, starting with the next Test match against France.

He is very publicly living through a rapid decline from the giddy heights of being roundly touted as the world's best player. 

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says elegible players will get some game time for the Maori All Blacks on the end of year tour, including Aaron Smith. Source: 1 NEWS

That was only three months ago.

Opinions on Smith have been fired from every angle because while he is in the public eye donning New Zealand's premier uniform, he will be mentioned – it's how it works.

It's not difficult to see, he hasn't been the same player or man since returning to the field.

Mr Smith fought back tears as he faced media in Durban over his airport tryst. Source: 1 NEWS

His confidence is shot, he's hesitant and his wild pass across the goal posts in the early stages on Sunday came after hesitating and second guessing himself.

All of the skills in the world count for little if the brain isn't in top shape and for Smith he's paid the price for using his little brain at the wrong time.

Attempting to wash away Smith's sins with some good ol' rugby wasn't an incorrect decision but the evidence has been clear – he needs a holiday, more time away from the TV cameras.

The players and management wouldn't comment today on the halfback who is on his way home. Source: Breakfast

Upon his return to the All Blacks, Steve Hansen and the rest of the leadership cloud would have internally addressed the elephant in the room with urgency.

It would be an obvious move to make in a high performing organisation but what still remains in the corner for Smith is a pile of pachyderm dung.

He may be back in the team but the All Blacks 'family' as they call it doesn't operate the same as a real one.

His personal relationship is sure to be at the prickly end of the rose and anyone can assume or testify that the dog box for cheating wouldn't be overly habitable or even on the same property.

If only a bit of good will and forethought was applied before the rush to call the media, mused the Seven Sharp host. Source: Seven Sharp

Going home may not be easy and that must play on a person's mind, constantly.

What Smith's downfall does do is remind us our All Blacks heroes are infinitely human and whacking him back into the Test arena for the fans was a case of 'help US forget it'. We want life to get back to normal.

The trouble is, Smith won't forget in a hurry and an analogy with similar parallels is Tiger Woods who up until his sordid affairs were surfaced was winning Majors and the undisputed Phenom.

He could walk proudly with his chest puffed out because he was winning and no one knew his secrets.

Rugby commentator reflects on what the star halfback has been through since the infamous Christchurch Airport incident. Source: Breakfast

Crude as it sounds, he was fulfilling his needs off the course and it probably helped him on it.

While he talked a good game post disgrace, Woods lost his confidence because he lost his popularity.

Smith, while on a lesser scale, has lost a chunk of mana and he may not ever fully get it back.

For Smith the human to get back to some sort of normal, he needs a holiday, perhaps lying flat on a couch.

The All Blacks coach will start the 'best halfback in the world' a month after his toilet tryst saga in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS