NZ Rugby World
One Man Lighthouse
While the Highlanders may lack in some areas, leadership is not one of them. Aaron Smith has, for years, been the guy to step up and say 'follow me'. It's clear to see in his play - when Smith is playing well, the Highlanders tend to play well and as he barks orders around the field. But how Smith is away from the ball says a lot about his pride in the franchise. The veteran halfback is often the first person there to celebrate a try and does not hesitate to let his emotion show. With someone of Smith's stature showing that side of him, it tells his teammates that this is the kind of passion they should be playing with. Add to that the cool head and presence of Ash Dixon, who is usually deployed off the bench and guides the team to the final whistle. The Highlanders leaders are among the best in the competition.