All Blacks legend picks two Boks in his all-time greatest backline

All Blacks legend picks two Boks in his all-time greatest backline

Veteran All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith has included two Springboks in his all-time greatest backline.

Smith has featured at the highest level for over a decade, debuting in 2012 for New Zealand, and has played with and against some of the game's greats.

The 34-year-old has now revealed his best backline, which includes Springbok legends Bryan Habana and Fourie du Preez.

South Africa's greatest-ever winger Habana takes his place on the wing, while Smith, a scrumhalf himself, gave Bulls and Bok legend Du Preez the ultimate honour by handing him the No 9 jersey.

Smith clashed with the 76-Test cap Springbok a handful of times, most notably in the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final, which was ultimately Du Preez's final international.

The selection shouldn't come as a surprise as Smith first revealed his high regard for Du Preez in a reply to the official Rugby World Cup Twitter account in 2021, which posed the question of who the best scrumhalf is to play at a Rugby World Cup.

He replied, saying: "There can only be one! #FourieDuPreez"

As for the rest of his all-time best backline, Smith unsurprisingly selected four of his fellow All Blacks.

He opted for long-time All Blacks and Highlanders teammate Ben Smith at full-back. The pair won Super Rugby and a World Cup together.

In the midfield, he picked fellow All Blacks centurion Ma'a Nonu. Smith won the World Cup alongside Nonu in 2015, while they were also teammates during the centre's short stint at the Highlanders.

Jonah Lomu takes up the other wing spot, and the late All Blacks legend is the only player in the side Smith did not play with or against, and we can all understand why he made the cut.

At flyhalf, Smith has selected a fourth New Zealander in Dan Carter. It's another unsurprising selection after the success the pair enjoyed in 2015. He also played against the former Crusaders pivot in Super Rugby.

The only Northern Hemisphere player to feature is former British and Irish Lions and Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll, who joins Ma'a Nonu in the midfield.