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Wayne Smith turns down England backroom job

By Julian Guyer, Julian Guyer is a Roar Guru

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    New Zealand’s Wayne Smith has rejected an approach to join England’s backroom staff, citing “personal reasons”.

    Smith was contacted personally by England coach Stuart Lancaster, who met with the former New Zealand assistant turned Waikato coach in Durban last month.

    Lancaster had a vacancy after former dual-code international Andy Farrell decided to stick with Saracens after being seconded to England from the Premiership champions for a Six Nations where the Red Rose finished runners-up behind Grand Slam champions Wales.

    That tournament represented Lancaster’s ‘audition’ for the England job after he was initially appointed on a caretaker basis for the Six Nations following Martin Johnson’s post World Cup resignation.

    Former All Blacks fly-half Smith helped New Zealand win last year’s World Cup on home soil, forming an impressive coaching trio with boss Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, having been head coach in his own right from 2000 to 2001.

    As Smith turned down England, who will stage the next World Cup in 2015, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) also announced Tuesday that ex-England back Mike Catt would join the coaching set up for next month’s five-match tour of his native South Africa.

    Smith, explaining his decision to remain in New Zealand, said in an RFU statement: “I was very impressed with Stuart (Lancaster) when I met him.

    “He is an outstanding individual and will be a great plus for England,” added Smith who was in charge of Premiership side Northampton for three years before his eight-year stint through to the World Cup alongside Henry and Hansen.

    However, he added: “It was an incredibly difficult decision but ultimately I have decided to stay in New Zealand, mainly for personal reasons.

    “I took the job with the Chiefs so I could move nearer to elderly parents. I have travelled the globe with rugby for the last 15 years and I want to fulfil my commitment to be closer to them.

    “I do also feel some loyalty to the (Waikato) Chiefs and the job that I have with them and leaving after eight months when I have a year left on my contract did not feel right.”

    Lancaster, who last week described Smith, as the “stand-out candidate” to replace Farrell, said: “Wayne rang me this (Tuesday) morning and I fully respect his decision which, as he says, was a difficult one.

    “He is clearly a coach of quality, honesty and integrity,” he added.

    Smith’s decision to reject England will come as a huge relief to New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew, who said last week: “We’re desperately keen to keep him in New Zealand, no doubt about that.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (49)

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 3:20am
      Ben S said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:20am | ! Report

      Oh dear. A massive blow.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 3:21am
      kingplaymaker said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:21am | ! Report

      Disaster for England: Smith could have turned them into a top team. Good for New Zealand though and certainly good for the Chiefs. It’s strange Smith was never considered or wasn’t interested in being the All Black coach himself.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:05am
        Ben S said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:05am | ! Report

        It’s not strange. Smith publicly stated on numerous occasions that he didn’t want to be the head honcho because it compromised hands on coaching.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 5:59am
        mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:59am | ! Report

        read the article again. wSmith was head AB’s coach 2000 to the end of 2001. he pretty much gave his role away when at his contract renewal negotiatons instead of saying i’m awesome, the bomb, the greatest etc he instead asked the panel if they thought he was doing a good job and did they see anyone better. panel made a huge mistake and appointed johnMitchell and robbieDeans instead. in hindsight the biggest coach selection error since it went professional.
        big loss for england. its a shame really because wSmith is one fo the best (if not the best) at his vocation and deserves to be on the world stage at test level. would’ve loved to have seen what he could’ve accomplished with Eng but alas poor yorick that boats sailed.
        β€œHe is clearly a coach of quality, honesty and integrity,” is an understatement. honourable is another plaudit deserved of smith. what other international coach could say that he doesnt want to be away from his grandparents? hope he doesnt get stuck in super rugby and finds somethign that keeps him close to his family but pushes his intellect

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:16am
          kiwidave said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:16am | ! Report

          It would seem Wayne Smith’s biggest error in that coaching review was being honest and not full of BS.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:32am
            mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:32am | ! Report

            yeah tots agree kDave. way too honest way too honourable. where as johnMitchell over sold himself and wasnt ready for the big job. nzrfu sholuda realised that as he’d never had a head coach role before then.
            i’m just glad that history shows wSmiths integrity is intact.

          • May 3rd 2012 @ 10:02pm
            ohtani's jacket said | May 3rd 2012 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

            Wayne Smith quit as All Blacks coach after they lost the John Eales retirement match. He then decided to reapply for the job and lost out to Mitchell and Deans. He shouldn’t have quit when he did but he was gutted like the rest of us for the second year running.

      • Columnist

        May 2nd 2012 @ 9:02am
        Brett McKay said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        this should torpedo all the talk of Smith not rating Lancaster as a coach, I’d reckon KPM….

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:08am
          kingplaymaker said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          Quite the opposite, Brett, Smith sounded much more enthusiastic when Mallett was expected to be coach earlier in the year, and only started sounding doubtful after Lancaster was appointed.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 5:20pm
        stillmatic1 said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

        hold on. for quite a while you were saying that wayne smith was not a good coach due to the supposed ineptitude of the ABs backline in the WC last year. i know you like to troll a bit, but i couldnt help remembering those comments when i read your post just now. do you actaully have a true position, KPM?

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:18am
      kiwidave said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:18am | ! Report

      Position opening up at the Blues, come on Wayne we’ll forgive your Canterbury days…

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:30am
      Emric said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      Come home Wayne. The blues need your guidance

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:10am
        kiwidave said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:10am | ! Report

        Born in the Waikato, played for Canterbury. Don’t go home, come to Auckland!

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:21am
          kingplaymaker said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:21am | ! Report

          I’m sure few will agree with me but I think in 2001 Smith and Deans would have been a pretty good combination!

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:28am
            mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:28am | ! Report

            yeah KPM i disagree

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:37am
            BROOKE48 said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:37am | ! Report

            kpm what about xreds kiwi Fowler and Smith combo for blues ?now that would be potent!!

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:00am
            Ben S said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:00am | ! Report

            ‘I’m sure few will agree with me but I think in 2001 Smith and Deans would have been a pretty good combination!’

            Two backs coaches? Really?

          • Roar Guru

            May 3rd 2012 @ 1:39am
            all7days said | May 3rd 2012 @ 1:39am | ! Report

            Deans building off Smith’s foundations again? Seemed to work the first time…

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:39am
          Riccardo said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          Damn straight Kiwidave!

          Unfortunately, Wayne was on Radiosport this morning advising he intends to honour his contract with the Chiefs which runs till the end of next year’s Super Rugby competition. This was in response to Vietch asking whether he would be interested in NZ Rugby’s poisined chalice.

          Never say never I guess and surely Steve Tew HAS to push this issue with him at some stage. Blues are an embarrasment to NZ Rugby.

          Re candidates for Pat’s job, I’ve hear JK’s name bandied about as well as potentially Vern Cotter.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 10:58am
            kiwidave said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report

            I’d be ok with JK. It’s hard to get an idea with him though. He seems to have done well with Italy and Japan, but expectations were low to begin with. Kieran Crowley, whose four year contract with Canada must be finishing soon, is arguably similar in that regard.

            I would think Vern Cotter would have to have eyes on the top job (ABs) in order to be convinced to leave clermont for the Blues.

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:34am
      kingplaymaker said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      But back then mania Deans hadn’t betrayed New Zealand for Australia, so surely he was still a good coach? πŸ˜‰

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:44am
        mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        KPM – i’ll say this once , deans isnt a traitor FFS. i dont think he’s a traitor and i never have. i think he’s an average coach but thatsd another argument entirely.
        he went to aus to upgrade his coaching skills like every other nz coach who wants to coach the AB’s. deans isnt being disloyal he’s improving his craft. not many kiwi’s think that deans is a traitor. i’ve been on this site since the beginning of the last WC and i havent seen any kiwi’s call deans a traitor.
        deans wasnt ready then (the selection of the canter-blacks wasnt very imaginitive.) and he isnt ready now. soon maybe

    • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:47am
      kingplaymaker said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      mania you may not think him a traitor but many Kiwis do. This year he will get a chance to prove how average he is.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:53am
        mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:53am | ! Report

        can i get a show of hands from kiwi posters who think that deans is a traitor?

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 11:35am
          allblackfan said | May 2nd 2012 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          Mania, pay no attention to KPM. He’s trolling.
          He just doesn’t like Kiwis; we all get that.
          Still won’t stop me sleeping soundly at night!!

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 11:51am
            mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 11:51am | ! Report

            allblackfan – yeah i know. i wouldnt say that doesnt like all kiwi’s, just very selective and a bit blind to others opinions
            interesting tho that no kiwi has come forward and said deans is a traitor. kpm u listening?

            • Roar Guru

              May 2nd 2012 @ 11:58am
              Jiggles said | May 2nd 2012 @ 11:58am | ! Report

              If anything you had a large portion of the NZ population, particularly from the South Island, feeling Deans was ripped off and the NZRU were trying to sabotage the All Blacks again. There is still a proportion of the population in NZ who still think Deans is the best man for the job, However much smaller now than after his obvious flaws at test level have been exposed…again.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:03pm
                mania said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                u a kiwi jiggles?

              • Roar Guru

                May 2nd 2012 @ 1:02pm
                Jiggles said | May 2nd 2012 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

                haha gosh no. I’m rather offended by that πŸ˜‰

                I have a number of friends from Canterbury who were rather miffed after the decision to reappoint Henry, and they informed me of the situation in NZ around that time. Additionally I remember some sections of the NZ media kicking up a fuss.

                At the time was happy with the appointment of Deans, despite his questionable form internationally, I believed his success at the Crusaders was evidence he was learning from his 2003 mistakes. After the spring tour of 2009 my opinion changed as certain flaws regarding the Wallabies tactics, and his selections had not improved and had actually been exacerbated.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:19pm
                Jarmen said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                I don’t know too many kiwis who were put out.
                Where are you from Jiggles if your not a New Zealander.
                I also don’t know many kiwis who think Deans is the best man for the job now.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:33pm
                Jay said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

                Jamen – while it may not have been a majority of Kiwis, there were a very very vocal minority who thought that Henry etc being retained was a disgrace.

              • Roar Guru

                May 2nd 2012 @ 4:49pm
                Jiggles said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                There was definitely a bit of outrage and controversy when Henry got reappointed post 2007, obviously with the benefit of hindsight this proved to be unfounded. He was clearly the best man for the job. I never stated Deans is the best man now for the job, I don’t think he is fit for international coaching at all as his record with the Wallabies proves.

                My avatar makes it pretty clear where I am from…

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:42pm
              AWCMONREF said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

              Robbies no traitor, will always respect him, that’s mainly Aussie talk trying rile us up like allblack fan said pay no attention, he will eventually go home and focus on NZ rugby again, but at the moment the mans gotta do what the mans gotta do…………….

        • Roar Guru

          May 3rd 2012 @ 1:42am
          all7days said | May 3rd 2012 @ 1:42am | ! Report

          He’s a traitor alright.
          But only to the Wallabies… πŸ™‚
          I think he should be their coach forever.

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 8:13am
        BROOKE48 said | May 2nd 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        KPM, that says more about a small minded group of people than it does about deans imo.
        DEANS has limitations at test level and was beaten in 2003 by jones mckenzie fowler etc.
        this year deans needs to win the bledisloe to survive.

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