Wednesday 8 February 2012 | Published in Regional
Cook Islander Francis Smith has headed back to New Zealand to rejoin the Crusaders’ developmental squad in Canterbury.
Smith will again play with the Crusaders Knights – the team affiliated with the Super Rugby side – backing up his efforts last year on the pitch while trying to move up to the senior squad.
The 25-year-old hooker received the call-up this week and was given barely three days to get himself ready for the trip down south.
Smith said he glad to have been selected to join the Crusaders Knights again, even if it was with short notice.
The selection means he is back in with a chance to join the Crusaders in a Super 15 match.
Last year he spent some of the pre-season with the senior squad and was called up to sit on the team’s bench as an injury substitute should he be needed.
This year Smith is hoping he may get some game time with the team in the main Super Rugby season.
Smith was renovating a house here in Rarotonga when he received the phone call telling him to get back down to New Zealand to rejoin the Crusaders Knights.
On the weekend, he lined up for the Arorangi Bears in the Cook Islands domestic rugby league competition. And while he won’t necessarily miss carrying out the work needed on his house, Smith said he would miss his mates from Arorangi.
“It’s good to be back (with the Crusaders Kinghts) but I am going to miss the boys here,” he said.
Now Smith is aiming to get some game time with the Crusaders Knights and hopefully catch the attention of selectors from their umbrella club.