Aaron Smith returns for his seventh Super Rugby season with the Highlanders after being signed in 2011 as an apprentice to All Blacks' scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan. Smith's form led him to becoming the first-choice No. 9 in 2012 and he was also first selected for the All Blacks that same year. A skillful distributor and reader of the play, Smith has solidified himself as an integral part of both the Highlanders and All Blacks and his exceptional form throughout 2015 lead to him being nominted for two awards at the 2015 New Zealand Rugby (Tom French Memorial Maori Rugby Player of the Year and Investec Super Rugby Player fo the Year). Aaron continues to set the standard for halfbacks internationally, he is unmatched in speed of play. He maintains his position as an integral part of the Highlanders attack and play.