Wayne Smith (rugby player)
|Birth name||Wayne Ross Smith|
|Date of birth||19 April 1957|
|Place of birth||Putaruru, Waikato, New Zealand|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||78 kg (12 st 4 lb)|
|School||Putaruru High School|
|Rugby union career|
Wayne Ross Smith CNZM (born 19 April 1957) is a former New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. He had been assistant coach of the All Blacks for 16 years. He is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in history. Nicknamed "The Professor", Smith is considered the All Blacks tactical genius and has helped engineer two Rugby World Cup triumphs by helping coach them to victory at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He is one of two coaches (Steve Hansen being the other) to win two back-to-back Rugby World Cups. He helped the Chiefs to win the 2012 Super Rugby title and 2013 Super Rugby title.
Growing up in Putaruru, Smith played for Waikato Secondary Schools in 1974, then worked his way up to the province's colt and B teams. He studied at Waikato University in Hamilton while playing club rugby in Putaruru, and in 1978 he was on the bench for one top grade Waikato match. "Frustrated" after that season, he decided to look for opportunities elsewhere, and moved to Canterbury where Belfast became his second (and final) club.
Smith's first major coaching role was for the Crusaders in the Super 12 competition in 1997. He coached them to two titles in 1998 and 1999 before being appointed All Blacks coach after the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Smith resigned in 2001, bitterly disappointed after two close losses to Australia, having failed to wrest the Bledlisloe from them and finishing second to Australia twice in the 2000 and 2001 Tri Nations. Smith went on to coach the Northampton Saints in England. He coached there until being appointed backs coach in early 2004 by the then All Blacks coach Graham Henry.
In 2010, All Black scrum half Justin Marshall spoke about the best piece of coaching advice he'd received came from Smith: "I was going through a bad patch and he told me to go out and trust my instincts and be decisive – you need to trust what you do is going to be the right thing and if you do it decisively you'll make good of it even if it's the wrong option because you'll do it with purpose. That's the best piece of advice I've been given."
In August 2012 Smith declared he wanted to stay with the Chiefs. This was despite being approached by the Western Force and NSW Waratahs, and an offer from England. Although his contract with the Chiefs was for two years, he was keen to stay longer, and he said, "I've now given a verbal agreement to the New Zealand Rugby Union that I'll be staying."
On 19 May 2017 Smith announced he would be stepping down from his role as assistant coach to the All Blacks at the conclusion of the 2017 Rugby Championship in October, ending a 20-year association and over 212 games as coach since 2004 and retiring from full-time coaching.
Smith's final game with the All Blacks came on 21 October against Australia in Brisbane where the All Blacks narrowly lost to Australia 23-18. In the press conference after the game Smith joked and said "I'm an old dog I'm out", cutting short any hopes that he would return to the All Blacks in the future.
- "Smith a man with family at heart". Stuff. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
- Doyle, Paul (22 May 2010). "Small Talk – Justin Marshall". Guardian. UK: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Gregor Paul (29 May 2016). "Rugby: SBW commits to rugby". Herald on Sunday. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- Mortimer, James (11 August 2012). "Smith staying with the Chiefs despite continued attention" (Press release). All Blacks and NZ Rugby. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Cully, Paul (11 August 2012). "Smith to stay put with Chiefs". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Wayne Smith to re-join All Blacks coaching staff for 2015
|All Blacks coach