Smith set for Chiefs role
Published 27/06/2011 | 07:52
New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith is to stand down at the end of the World Cup to take up a role with Super 15 side the Chiefs.
Former Crusaders and Northampton coach Smith has been part of Graham Henry's All Blacks set-up since 2004, helping the national side to attain an 86% success ratio during the last seven years.
Smith also served as New Zealand head coach from 2000 to 2001 and has been synonymous with Canterbury rugby following his successful spell in charge of the Crusaders and his performances at fly-half for the province during the 1980s.
He will link up with new Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie and his assistant Tom Coventry for the 2012 and 2013 seasons and, having been born in the Waikato town of Putaruru, the 54-year-old is looking forward to returning to his roots and helping to rejuvenate a side that endured a poor recent Super 15 campaign, finishing bottom of the New Zealand conference.
Smith said: "Even though I've lived in Christchurch for many years and consider myself a proud Cantabrian, I am also a Waikato boy. I have family and lifelong friends there and am really excited to take up this opportunity with the Chiefs.
"I know that the time is right to step down from my All Blacks role at the end of the year, but I was keen to stay in New Zealand and keep contributing to New Zealand rugby and this gives me a fantastic chance to do that."
Rennie added: "Smithy is one of the best coaches in the world. While his role will primarily be around defence and counter-attack, his experience will be of huge benefit to our playing and coaching group as a whole."