Smith: ‘A dream come true’

Aaron Smith will realise his dream of playing for New Zealand in a Rugby World Cup Final on Saturday.

The efficient scrum-half first starred for the Maori All Blacks in 2010 but earned his call up to the New Zealand squad in 2012 after impressing for the Highlanders in Super Rugby.

A year later, Smith had established himself as the first choice half-back for coach Steve Hansen. Now a veteran of 46 tests, Smith is on the eve of realising his childhood dream.

"I had a little moment after the game [the semi-final] the other day just thinking…it's here," said the 26-year-old. 

"All the talk about the last few years has been heading toward this and as a player you have to put it to the back of your mind. But it's at the point now where we've actually earned the right to play in the game that everybody wants to be a part of this year.

"It's just exactly when you think about what as a team you want the All Blacks to be, it's that and more. Everyone is the best at what they do all the way through, so it's just a dream come true every week. As a Kiwi it's the best job you can have I reckon."

It's a sentiment hooker Dane Coles can agree with. Four years ago, he watched the All Blacks lift the Webb Ellis Cup in Auckland on television. But on Saturday, Coles will be on the other side of the camera. 

"You dream of being in these moments, but until you are here you never think it will come true," said Coles.

"I remember watching in 2011 and I was just a fan and I remember what it did for the country. To get a chance to play is a dream come true."