All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has reportedly rejected overseas offers and signed a new deal with New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2017.
Although no official announcement has been made, media outlets in New Zealand are reporting that Smith, who was part of the All Blacks’ coaching staff during their victorious 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup campaigns, has agreed to a two-year extension to his contract.
Earlier this year, it was reported that he was negotiating with Aviva Premiership outfit Harlequins while England and Italy’s national sides have also tried to acquire his services.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew wouldn’t confirm Smith’s new deal.
“We’re not far away from making some announcements about that,” he told Newstalk ZB.
Tew said the NZRU’s main aim was to secure the All Blacks coaching staff for the immediate future, before turning their attentions to to the 2017-19 period.
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen is tied in to a deal until the end of 2017.
“I’m not sure about a time-line for Steve,” Tew told Newstalk.
“My experience with him, which is now 15 years old, is we’ll drive a timetable that is best determined by being patient.
“The key thing now is to lock up the full group for this year which we’re very close to doing, then we’ll move on to a longer term view.
“It’s pretty much as we’ve done with the players. We’re pretty comfortable where our player contracting is in the immediate term, but now we’re starting to focus on some guys who are only extended as far as 2017 and talk about 2018-19.”