Australia halfback Will Genia has paid New Zealand counterpart Aaron Smith a huge compliment, declaring he has added a new dimension to rugby's world champion team.
The 22-year-old Highlanders star made his international debut in June, starting in all three All Blacks' wins over Ireland.
He could line up directly against Genia in the back-to-back Tests between the Wallabies and the All Blacks in the opening two rounds of the inaugural Rugby Championship next month.
"They (New Zealand) have been the best in the world for so long for a number of reasons," said Genia, on Thursday after he won the Australian Super Rugby player of the year award.
"Having watched their series against Ireland, I really like the way Aaron Smith plays.
"I think he adds a new dimension to their play because he gets to the breakdowns quickly.
"He's got a great pass and gives then that extra speed in attack, which they probably don't need but they have the luxury of now.
"They will pick up where they have left off, as they always do."They will be very tough and it will be a big ask to get on top of them but you wouldn't have it any other way."