Smith set for sabbatical
NEWS: New Zealand fullback Ben Smith will reportedly take a sabbatical from rugby later in the 2017 season.
When Smith re-signed with New Zealand Rugby back in February through to 2020, he had a sabbatical clause added to his contract.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Smith will sit out eight Tests this year beginning after the All Blacks' Bledisloe Cup tie against the Wallabies in Dunedin on August 26.
That means Smith will miss four Rugby Championship matches as well as the All Blacks' end-of-year tour to the Northern Hemisphere.
Smith missed the last two Tests in the British and Irish Lions series with an inner ear infection.
He is expected to return to action for the Highlanders in the Super Rugby quarterfinal against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
New Zealand Herald