Smith admits he should have taken time off after toilet tryst

All Black halfback Aaron Smith says he should have taken time off after an incident at Christchurch Airport last year.

Smith will this week celebrate playing his 100th Super Rugby game for the Highlanders when they take on the Melbourne Rebels in Dunedin.

He received a formal warning and stood down from an All Blacks test in October after he was seen entering a toilet cubical with a woman at Christchurch Airport.

He later said he made a huge mistake and apologised to his partner, both his and her families, his teammates and New Zealand fans.

Smith struggled on the All Blacks end of year tour.

Speaking ahead of his 100th match today, Smith said the incident affected his mental state and performance on the field.

"Looking back, I probably should have put rugby on the back-burner and focused on myself," Smith said.

He said he received counselling.

"We're past that now, I've learnt a lot from it - you learn who your friends are. It really puts everything in perspective.

"I'm turning a page, I'm feeling good about life and looking forward to this weeks game."

Smith said his first game for the Highlanders against the Bulls in South Africa, along with his winning the Super Rugby title in 2015, were highlights.

"I'm blessed to play for this beautiful region and I haven't left, so that shows it's a good environment to be a part of."


Photo: PhotoSport All Black Aaron Smith