The All Blacks have been boosted by the return of Wayne Smith to their coaching staff for the 2015 season, it was announced on Sunday.
Smith, who was part of New Zealand’s coaching staff from 2004 through to the team’s victory at World Cup 2011, and a Chiefs assistant coach from 2012-2014, will come in as a specialist defence coach.
Head coach Steve 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,” he said.
“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.”