'You lose mana when you do things like that' - Aaron Smith says toilet tryst cost him role leading the All Blacks' haka

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith believes his 2016 toilet tryst in Christchurch cost him the honour of leading New Zealand's pre-match haka, saying the incident cost him mana within the side.

Smith, 29, was exposed during the 2016 Rugby Championship as being involved in the act in a disabled toilet in Christchurch and was sent home from South Africa as a result.

In a new book titled 'The Jersey' by British journalist Peter Bills, Smith spoke openly about the incident, saying it cost him his role as the leader of the All Blacks' haka, with TJ Perenara assuming duties in his absence.

The talented number nine was in no mood to talk as he touched down on home soil after the long trip from Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

"I was one of the first to say, 'I should not be doing it', and that is what happened," Smith says.

"It's a part of the mana, isn't it? You lose mana when you do things like that. TJ Perenara took over and I was happy for him to do that because of the mana I had lost from what I had done."

All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka concurred with Smith, adding:

Aaron Smith will arrive in NZ early Saturday morning to deal with the fallout from his actions. Source: 1 NEWS

"What Aaron did was so severe for himself personally that it shattered him hugely."

"He needs to think why he screwed up. It was like a tide that crept up. You think you are indestructible and above different things. But suddenly you come crashing down in a huge way."

The All Black halfback has been given a formal warning for lying to NZ Rugby about the incident. Source: 1 NEWS


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Dan Carter quashes rumours of Super Rugby return with Highlanders

All Blacks legend Daniel Carter has played down reports of a possible return to Super Rugby with the Highlanders, saying he'd rather take more family time than done the blue and gold in 2019.

The southern Super Rugby franchise is weighing up its first-five options for next year with playmaker Lima Sopoaga headed to the UK to play for Wasps.

While Bryn Gatland and Josh Ioane will be at the Highlanders in 2019, it has also been rumoured players such as Carter and former Wallaby Quade Cooper were being pursued as a third option.

However the 36-year-old, who is playing for the Kobe Steelers currently, told Stuff he isn't looking to return to Super Rugby.

"I hadn't actually thought about it. Hayden Parker, he's in the same team as me, we were away on camp, and he read something about me going down there and that was the first I'd heard about it.

"I think I'd prefer after the Japanese season to spend a bit of time with my family, rather than play another Super Rugby season."

Carter left New Zealand after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, having made 141 appearances for the Crusaders and holds the all-time points (1,708) and conversions (185) in the competition in 12 season of playing.

Dan Carter of the Crusaders. Source: Photosport

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Michael Cheika laughs off Steve Hansen's All Blacks as underdogs claim

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will struggle to convince anybody that his side deserve to start as underdogs in the Bledisloe Cup opener, including his own players, Michael Cheika says.

The Wallabies mentor has questioned the merits of his counterpart's bold claim before the first Test, which starts at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on August 18.

Hansen suggested this week that Australia "have a lot of self-confidence and are worthy of starting as favourites".

The statement ignored 16 years of trans-Tasman dominance, the fact Hansen's charges are World Cup holders and have occupied top spot on world rugby's rankings since 2009, and the wisdom of every bookmaker on the planet.

Cheika beamed when asked about Hansen's take.

"I was a little bit surprised," he said.

"Hansen's a fine coach, he's obviously a great rugby mind. He's leading a team that is the best in the world.

"But he may have had that one wrong because I don't think many of his players would believe that.

"I don't think it's very realistic.

The reduced number of Super Rugby teams in Australia has the Wallabies in better shape for the Bledisloe Cup, the All Blacks coach has said. Source: 1 NEWS

"Sometimes you say stuff and go, 'Maybe I shouldn't have said that'."

Former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock this week rubbished Hansen's claim as "a load of tripe".

Cheika is set to announce his 28-man squad on Sunday, the same day the All Blacks arrive in Sydney.

The Wallabies recently completed a training camp in Cessnock, with Cheika confident they'll be much better prepared for the first Test compared with last year.

The All Blacks scored a record six tries in the first half of the 2017 Bledisloe opener.

"We're physically in a better place," Cheika said.

"We've got guys who have come out (of Super Rugby) in much better nick.

"We've been able to maybe focus a little bit more on our rugby.

"We've got slightly different strategy."

'As enjoyable as the win was, the disappointment of not winning the cup still resonates for me,' he said. Source: 1 NEWS


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