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Wayne Smith is stepping down
from his All Blacks role, ending an
extraordinary 20-year involvement
with international rugby’s No 1
He will finish up as All Blacks
assistant coach following the Rugby
Championship later in the year.
New Zealand Rugby boss Steve
Tew used a special press conference
at Auckland Airport to make the
announcement that Smith does not
want to extend his current contract
as an All Blacks assistant coach
beyond the end of this season.
All Blacks head coach Steve
Hansen also fronted the media
announcement and paid tribute
to Smith’s contribution to New
Smith recently celebrated his 60th
birthday and said the time was right
to step down from fulltime coaching.
‘’I’ve had an incredible time and
shared in some fantastic experiences.
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. 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.”
Smith said there were a number of
people he needed to acknowledge.
“ First and foremost, I want to thank my
family for allowing me the opportunity
to do what I have done for so many years.
I’ve never taken their support for granted
and it’s been huge for me.
“ I want to thank Steve Tew, Steve
Hansen and Gilbert Enoka who have
been constants in my career since our
Canterbury days. They ’ve provided
longstanding support and friendship for
many years which I’m very thankful for.
I’d also like to acknowledge Sir Graham
Henry who gave me the opportunity to
return to the All Blacks coaching setup
in 2004. I really appreciated that, as well
as the guidance he gave me.
“ I also want to acknowledge all the All
Blacks coaches, management and players
I’ve worked with over the years. Working
alongside these professionals has been
massive for me and has kept me up to
date with new ideas and stimulated my
Hansen, who has won two World Cup
titles with Smith, said he has plenty of
respect for the departing assistant.
“ I’d like to thank Wayne Smith for his
contribution, not only to NZ Rugby on a
whole but particularly the ABs. He has
had a long association with the team as a
player, a head coach for a while there, and
as an assistant.
“He’s always been a man I’ve hugely
respected. I was lucky to meet him a few
years ago when I was a young nipper. I
even had the privilege of being sent home
from training by him on one occasion.
You have been a massive contributor to
NZ Rugby and a wonderful ambassador.
“I knew I couldn’t convince him to stay
on when he went to my wife and said
‘you’ve got to get him to stop pressurizing
me’. We’ve squeezed a few more years
out of him and we’re thankful for that.”
Smith’s first involvement with the All
Blacks was a player. He turned out 18
times in black including 17 tests between
1980 and 1985. He soon moved into a
coaching role and was quickly dubbed
‘The Professor’ by players intrigued with
his analytical and tactical approach to
Smith was the Crusaders coach from
1997-99 he was the Crusaders Super 12
coach. Under his guidance the Crusaders
won the title twice in 1998 and 99.
In each of these seasons he was also an
assistant coach with the All Blacks and
in 2000-01 he was the All Blacks’ head
Bitterly disappointed with a narrow
Bledisloe Cup defeat to the Wallabies
late in the 2001 season. Smith, partly
through his own doing and that of
NZRU board, conceded his All Black
post to John Mitchell and instead moved
to Britain to coach Northampton.
However after Graham Henry was
appointed All Black coach for the
2004 season Smith, along with another
Cantabrian Steve Hansen, joined All
Black management as a selector and
assistant coach. — NZ Herald
it a day with
All Whites captain Winston Reid has
been ruled out of the Confederations
Cup with injury, continuing a dreadful
run of luck with the national team.
The 28-year-old has a bone growth in
his left knee which has been causing him
some pain for the past six weeks while on
duty for English Premier League club
West Ham United.
The injury has worsened and reached
the stage where Reid was only training
once a week, prompting an operation
to remove the growth. His expected
recovery time is eight to 12 weeks.
Suspension, injury and unavailability
have dogged Reid’s international career.
He has appeared in just 21 of a possible
50 games since his All Whites debut in
2010 and has played in only four of the
“O bviously I’m really disappointed to
be missing the Confederations Cup, but
if I had gone there and played, it would
not have got better,” Reid said. “If the
Confederations Cup was nine or 10 days
away, I’d probably have given it a go, but
the fact it is another month away and it ’s
not getting any better made my decision.”
Leeds United striker Chris Wood will
take over the captaincy, as he has done
in most of the recent matches Reid has
missed. All Whites coach Anthony
Hudson said Reid was “devastated ”
to miss the eight-nation tournament
in Russia, along with the All Whites’
extended preparation period.
They gather in Auckland this week
for a training camp and play three
warm-up matches in June ahead of the
Confederations Cup opener against
Russia on June 17. — N ZN
All Whites captain ruled out
of Confederations Cup
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