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Wayne Smith to re-join All Blacks coaching staff for 2015

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allblacks.com     22 Dec 2014     Getty Images

Smith, who was part of the All Blacks coaching staff from 2004 through to the team's victory at Rugby World Cup 2011, and a Chiefs Assistant Coach from 2012-2014, will come in as a specialist defence coach and joins the coaching team of Head Coach Steve Hansen, Assistant Coach Ian Foster and fellow specialist coaches Mike Cron (forwards) and Mick Byrne (skills).

Hansen said they were delighted that Smith had accepted the offer to return to the All Blacks.

"He is one of the most astute rugby coaches in world rugby and having worked with him in the past, we know just how valuable he is to any team he is involved in. 'Smithy' will add another dimension to what is already a strong coaching group in what will be a big year for us. We look forward to welcoming him back into the fold.

"Smithy's role will be purely around defence, but as we do with all our coaches we will tap into his vast knowledge of other areas of the game."

Smith said he never thought he would be involved with the All Blacks again, after leaving the team at the end of 2011.

"When I was asked to be involved in the All Blacks again for 2015, it was a case of checking whether I had the support of my family, which I did. I also spoke to some of the senior players in the team and everyone was incredibly supportive.

I care deeply about the All Blacks, I'm excited to be back and looking forward to getting stuck into next year."

Smith will be stepping down from an official coaching role with the Chiefs, but will still work from the team's base and continue to do on-field coaching once a week to keep his coaching hand in. He will also be working with all five of New Zealand's Investec Super Rugby teams during the season in his All Blacks capacity.
Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman said: "Wayne is a highly respected and knowledgeable man. He is an extremely talented coach and mentor so it is easy to see why the All Blacks want him involved in their environment for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"As a rugby club, the Chiefs are committed to providing as much support as possible to the All Blacks in their quest to win back-to-back World Cups, so we support Wayne 100 percent in his decision to assist the All Blacks and appreciate the massive contribution he has made to the Chiefs."

Wayne Smith - biography

Born in the Waikato town of Putaruru, 57-year-old Wayne Smith CNZM played 35 games and 17 Tests for the All Blacks between 1980 and 1985 before embarking on his successful coaching career. He coached the Crusaders to back-to-back Super Rugby victories in 1998 and 1999 (alongside Steve Hansen) and was a technical advisor to the All Blacks in 1998-1999 before taking over the top job for the following two seasons. He spent three seasons with English club Northampton from 2001 to 2004 before re-joining the All Blacks coaching set up alongside Sir Graham Henry and Hansen. Smith helped coach the All Blacks to Rugby World Cup victory in 2011 before joining the Chiefs coaching set up under Head Coach Dave Rennie helping the team to back-to-back Super Rugby victories in 2012 and 2013.