adidas All Blacks AIG Logo


Smith staying with the Chiefs despite continued attention

Getty Images

James Mortimer     12 Aug 2012     Getty Images

When the Waratahs announced that Michael Foley had signed a three-year contract with the Western Force, one of the first names mentioned as a replacement was Smith.

The 55-year-old, who also spurned an offer from the Rugby Football Union earlier this year to join England, has said that he feels the Chiefs are on the verge of something special - while he has family in the Waikato area.

With NSW having a horror season, some sections of the Australian media suggested that the Waratahs would break the bank to get a high profile coach, but Smith confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald he was staying in New Zealand.

Smith was on a two-year contract with the Investec Super Rugby winning Chiefs, and suggested that this would be longer.

"I've now given a verbal agreement to the New Zealand Rugby Union that I'll be staying," Smith said.

"...I'm not on the market.'

Smith, along with Dave Rennie, Tom Coventry and a squad of "hard working buggers", won the Super Rugby title - with the former All Blacks assistant becoming the first man to win crowns with different frachises as a coach.

While he admitted the Waratahs had contacted him, he said it was a brief conversation.

"I had an approach from my agent, who said (the Waratahs) had contacted him," Smith said.

"But he knew I'd made a verbal agreement to New Zealand, so there was no further discussion.'