Wayne Smith named New Zealand national team ‘mentor’

By Le Figaro with AFP



Wayne Smith is the new “mentor” of the All Blacks and the Black Ferns. Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

The former New Zealand player, converted coach, will play a coaching role with the All Blacks and Black Ferns.

New Zealand rugby coach Wayne Smith was named on Friday “mentor” of the All Blacks and Black Ferns, a function in which he intends “shake up the principles” And “go off the beaten track“.

At 66, this ex-international who was coach of the New Zealand women’s team when it won the World Cup in 2022, will have to “mentor and support the respective coaches and improve the quality of coaching for both teams“said Rugby Union New Zealand in a statement.

“Breaking the rules”

This former All Blacks coach (2000-2001) has already started working with the Black Ferns again but he will not resume with the men’s team before the 2023 World Cup (September 8-October 28) in France.

From 2024, Scott Robertson will become the new All Blacks manager, succeeding Ian Foster.

I am deeply attached and in love with all the teams that wear the black jersey, especially the Black Ferns and the All Blackssaid Wayne Smith, who pledged tochallenge the rules and encourage coaches and players to think outside the box“.

I also have a very good relationship with the respective head coaches (of these two teams) and many players, so it seems to me that this role within both teams is quite natural.“.

After 17 caps with the All Blacks as a player, Wayne Smith transitioned into coaching and led the Canterbury Crusaders to the Super Rugby title in 1998 and 1999.

Coach of the All Blacks in 2000 and 2001, Smith then coached Northampton in England and was twice istant coach of the All Blacks. In 2022, he was named Rugby Coach of the Year.

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We are very lucky to have someone of his caliber in our sport and involved in our top two national teams.“said Mark Robinson, the president of the Rugby Federation of New Zealand.

The contribution of +Smithy+ and his vision of the game and trends at international level will be of great use to coaches and players“, he estimated.

But more than that, his integrity, his honesty, his pion for the jersey and his concern for preserving the legacy of the black jersey are invaluable.“.

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