The Hurricanes are preparing for a new Super Rugby season and have named experienced centre Conrad Smith as captain of the Wellington side for the 2012 campaign.
Smith, who is currently on leave after the World Cup, made his debut for the franchise in 2004 against the Cats and takes over from Andrew Hore as the 'Canes skipper.
The 30-year-old also made his All Blacks debut in 2004 against against Italy, and has since then accumulated 66 and 55 caps for the Hurricanes and All Blacks respectively.
Smith's experience and leadership were clear during the World Cup as one of the most senior players in the side and the backline come the final.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett explained, "Conrad is a strong and confident leader. I know he is really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
"We will have a leadership group that will be there to work with him and take this team to the next level and into the future."
Smith will be the seventh Hurricanes captain in the franchise's history. He will re-join the squad in February before the side's first pre-season match against the Blues on February 4.
The Hurricanes squad began their pre-season training on Monday with a successful visit to Upper Hutt and will continue to visit local areas in their build up to the 2012 Super Rugby campaign.
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