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Wayne Smith takes up new role with Black Ferns and All Blacks

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Fiona Goodall - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Legendary coach Wayne Smith will add to his decorated legacy within New Zealand Rugby in a new role with both the Black Ferns and All Blacks.

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New Zealand Rugby announced on Friday that rugby guru Smith will be “support the respective head coaches and enhancing the quality of coaching delivery” as a performance coach.

Smith, who won two Rugby World Cups with the All Blacks and another with the New Zealand women’s team, has already begun working Black Ferns Director of Rugby Allan Bunting.

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The rugby guru will return to the All Blacks in his new role after this year’s Rugby World Cup in France when incoming head coach Scott Robertson takes up his position.

“I have a deep connection and love for any team that wears the black jersey and particularly the Black Ferns and the All Blacks,” Smith said in a statement.

“I also have strong relationships with the respective head coaches and many of the players, so it feels like this role across the two teams is a natural fit, and one where I can hopefully add and contribute to both environments.

“It’s important to consider different perspectives and solutions as coaches.

“As we head into a new era of the game, I am a great believer in the importance of diversity, of relationships and of people. As a coach I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to that through my career.”

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After taking up the position of All Blacks head coach in 2000, Smith ended up leaving New Zealand a year later to coach the Northampton Saints in England.

But after a few years in the northern hemisphere, Smith returned to Aotearoa as the All Blacks assistant coach in 2004 – and stayed in that role through to the drought-breaking 2011 World Cup.

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Smith returned to the All Blacks in 2015 after a few years away, and was again part of World Cup winning team as an assistant coach.

But Smith notched up arguably his greatest achievement as a coach last year when he famously led the Black Ferns to a momentous World Cup triumph on home soil.

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After winning the World Cup in front of a sold-out Eden Park crowd, Smith was later named World Rugby’s Coach of the Year.

“Smithy’s input and insights on the shape of the game and trends in the game internationally will be of enormous benefit to coaches and players, but more tan his integrity, honesty, passion for the jersey and care for the legacy of the black jersey are invaluable,” NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of his calibre in our game and involved with our two top national teams the Black Ferns and the All Blacks.

“I know he is excited and energised by the challenge ahead and I’m confident our players, fans and stakeholders will feel the same way.”

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1 Comment
G
G 388 days ago

I guess Foster doesn't need any help

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