All Blacks assistant Smith to step down

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    The All Blacks will lose the services of long-serving and successful assistant coach Wayne Smith after this year’s Rugby Championship.

    Smith announced on Friday he will take a break from October to consider his future, ending an international coaching involvement which began in 1998.

    The 35-match former All Black is regarded as one of the game’s smartest minds, helping to oversee World Cup wins in 2011 and 2015 alongside head coaches Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen respectively.

    Smith, whose most recent brief has been with the All Blacks’ defence, said turning 60 last month prompted an assessment of his future.

    “It’s unbelievable to think that I’ve been involved in playing and coaching with the All Blacks for 20 years, a third of my life,” he said.

    “I’ve had an incredible time and shared in some fantastic experiences.

    “But it’s time to hang up my coach’s whistle for a while, take a bit of a hiatus, freshen up and spend some more time with my wife Trish and our family.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • Roar Guru

      May 19th 2017 @ 9:00am
      Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Looks like we’ve found the future Wallabies coach.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 9:30am
        jameswm said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        Surely he wouldn’t consider it?

        Maybe Mick Byrne has been in his ear…

        More than coaching the Wallabies, I’d get him in charge of setting up the top down coaching structure. Set up the structure, plus what to coach and how to coach it.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 9:31am
          Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          Surely he wouldn’t consider it?

          Can you imagine it?

          • Roar Guru

            May 19th 2017 @ 9:42am
            Machooka said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

            No bloody way are we having another Kiwi coach.

            Over my dead body!

            • Roar Guru

              May 19th 2017 @ 9:55am
              taylorman said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

              That can be arranged!
              ‘a Wallaby coach with a kiwi accent walked into a bar…’

              Come on, how can you not look forward to that!

            • May 19th 2017 @ 1:09pm
              Sulzberg said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

              The previous kiwi coach did a better job than the last two aussies coaches, that’s a fact!!

              • Roar Guru

                May 19th 2017 @ 2:03pm
                Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                Well, no, it isn’t a fact.

                Cheika got us to a WC final, Link had us improving, had us mostly beating NH teams and few terrible losses.

                Deans did okay, especially from 2008-10. From thereon in it was pretty desire, aside from early 2011.

              • Roar Guru

                May 20th 2017 @ 5:43am
                taylorman said | May 20th 2017 @ 5:43am | ! Report

                True, Deans 58%, Cheika 54%, McKenzie 50%. That’s the facts. Only diff between Cheikas Wcup and Deans is the point at which they met NZ.

              • May 20th 2017 @ 8:50am
                Fionn said | May 20th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

                And if Cheika gets more time perhaps his winning % will be above Deans?

                We haven’t had any losses to Samoa or Scotland recently either.

                There are arguments in favour of each coach. Personally, I think we would be in a better spot if we had stuck with Link, but alas.

              • May 20th 2017 @ 9:48am
                soapit said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                indeed tman you could say the same about mckenzies tenure (started and finished against nz and short enough for that to matter)

      • May 19th 2017 @ 2:47pm
        Dan54 said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

        Well he did say if did coach at would only be a second tier team so…………………………….

        Just winding you up boys!!

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 11:48pm
        Mike said | May 19th 2017 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

        And I’m a monkeys aunty.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:10am
      mania said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      nah he’ll be back when needed. cometh the hour cometh the man and wayne smith IS the man

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 10:20am
        Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        Let’s hope the man for Australian rugby, eh?

    • Roar Guru

      May 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
      taylorman said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Tana and Wayne… has a nice ring…hang on…

      Wayne and Tana… hmmm…

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 10:21am
        Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        Taylorman, perhaps he stepped down as he realised that Bernie was leaving the Brumbies ;)?

        • May 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm
          Rugby Tragic said | May 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          Fionn …. sorry to disappoint you (I think), but Wayne Smith is not nicknamed ‘The Professor” for no reason. He has been offered plum jobs in the past (including England when Stuart Lancaster was interim coach following 2011 RWC).

          Wayne Smith will not be short of offers, should he be looking for a job… but he openly stated that he could not see himself coaching against the All Blacks …. a Super Rugby side? … Hmmm I doubt if he will take on one outside of his country, but the big thing about Wayne Smith is he is a family man first and foremost and chooses to live in a little place in the Waikato, Putaruru .. close to his family…

          In the unlikely event of an Aussie side could engage him of his services, I reckon it would be the scoop of the century, at least that is my opinion…. “So Solly”

          • Roar Guru

            May 20th 2017 @ 7:35am
            taylorman said | May 20th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

            The new freeways make it only an hour to Eden park for training. We would fly him there and home again anyway, after building the runway outside his Putaruru home that is.

            • May 20th 2017 @ 2:24pm
              Steve Wright said | May 20th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

              Who in their right mind wants to spend that time amongst the idiots on that free?way twice daily?

          • Roar Guru

            May 20th 2017 @ 11:39am
            Fionn said | May 20th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            We can dream though, RT, we can dream..

    • May 19th 2017 @ 10:05am
      DanFan said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      In his comments to the media in NZ he said he would never coach against the ABs or for a tier 1 team. More interesting now is who is replacement will be. He also said that there are a number of young coaches ready to make the step up. Any guesses?

      • May 19th 2017 @ 10:47am
        Old Bugger said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report


        An interesting question indeed. My first guess would’ve been Andrew Strawbridge but, I don’t know if he’s fully recovered and equally prepared, to go to another level from the Chiefs. Then again there’s John Plumtree but again, I don’t know if he’s available either. Who’s the D-coach in the Saders?? Perhaps, Paul Feeney puts his name in the hat. There’s a few guys who are also leaving NZ that can’t be considered including Dave Rennie, Tony Brown and Kieran Keane. More is the pity then…….

        • May 19th 2017 @ 1:16pm
          DanFan said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

          Hansen has said that he has no pre-conceived ideas about the replacement and they are going to call for applications. I guess it will be a case of ‘if you want it, come and show us your stuff’. I know someone who has a mighty good show reel for the gig. Will he be tempted?

          • May 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm
            Old Bugger said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

            Now Im intrigued Dan…..who do you know??

            • May 20th 2017 @ 9:54am
              Dontcallmeshirley said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report


              • May 20th 2017 @ 12:35pm
                Old Bugger said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report


                Not while Tew and Hansen, are running the show in the backroom and on the paddock. Plus, I’d suggest Dingo knows that anyway and it would be a major surprise, if he throws his hat in the ring.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Jeffrey said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Laurie Mains said the same thing. These are the true patriots, unfortunately a lot of ex All Blacks choose to do the exact opposite.

        • May 19th 2017 @ 12:34pm
          Old Bugger said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          Yep – when you spend near-on 20yrs of your 60years of life as an AB head or assistant coach, it makes things very difficult indeed, to look at coaching against that team.

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2017 @ 7:59am
          taylorman said | May 20th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          I think that’s a bit shallow. People have to make a living. If they’ve given their life to the sport sometimes it’s all they know. Not everyone can coach the ABs, or play for them.

          Should they all sit at home and forge a new career at 35 or older while us armchair critics who used that time for forge our own careers outside the sport comment on loyalty to the sport, or country?

          Smith is in a very…very rare position that he can pick and choose. Thats a luxury the average rugby professional doesn’t have, and in basic supply and demand terms, they’re more valued elsewhere.

          That’s their fault for not being ‘loyal’?

          • May 20th 2017 @ 12:19pm
            Jeffrey said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report


            I know that I am in the minority who shares the view that they shouldn’t coach a top level nation against the ABs. Same applies to guys like Eddie Jones who in my view has betrayed the Wallabies and Australian rugby.

            My argument is that they are plenty of club gigs available, so why must they coach the national team? It goes back to being loyal to the brand and the jersey that ultimately made these guys. I know in a professional world, thee things don’t matter, but I wish it did.

            Wayne Smith turned down a massive offer from England and stayed in NZ for a fraction of the salary, so we can’t just say that he is in a position to pick and choose. He made a huge financial sacrifice and that’s to be applauded.

            • Roar Guru

              May 20th 2017 @ 12:42pm
              Fionn said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report


              Which is why he should come to the Brumbies :P.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm
        jameswm said | May 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        What about heading Australia’s coaching structure, helping decide what is coached, how it is coached, and how the coaches coach the coaches?

        That wouldn’t be coaching directly against NZ. It would however be helping a rival improve across all levels. Would that be seen as ok?

        • Roar Guru

          May 20th 2017 @ 8:09am
          taylorman said | May 20th 2017 @ 8:09am | ! Report

          Anythings really ok these days, it’s just a personal thing for Smith, as it was Dean’s to move. He’s very much a kiwi home boy with simple needs and does it for the love of the game.

          He’s too old, and by old I mean set in his ways, not physically, to start taking on the issues of another country, good or bad. He doesn’t like the limelight which is why he no longer wants the top job.

          Too be honest Im surprised he doesn’t go through to the WCup.

          Hansen will need to choose wise. Is Mick Byrne available? 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            May 20th 2017 @ 1:09pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 20th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

            I agree with every word T-man write here. To expect people who almost have nothing to sacrifice their only chance to create some security for themselves and their families, just because other people have some idea how they should live their life… I think that shows very poor understanding about humans overall.

            There is still hope T-man… We can agree on some things at least 😉

    • May 19th 2017 @ 10:48am
      Highlander said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      Given the efficiency of the ARU, journalist Wayne Smith is about to get a very confusing call from Bill Pulver this morning.

      Don’t think we will see the real Coach Smith in a full time or head role ever again, didn’t Hansen have to convince him to extend his contract last time round.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 12:31pm
        Old Bugger said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

        Apparently, Smithy asked Shag’s wife to convince her hubby, to stop hassling Smithy, to re-sign… funny cos Shag, does listen to someone.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 12:48pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

          I read that too, so funny!
          No doubt Shag is a leader who knows what he wants and you better be really strong, big and committed if you are planning to block his way. And kudos to Smith, he knows his mate Shag and played this one with true class.
          I would have love to hear the conversation between Shag and Mrs Smith.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 11:17am
      R2D2 said | May 19th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      Don’t worry Cheika, he won’t be after your job.

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