Tug-o'-war for Smith
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 08:03
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is hoping the future surrounding assistant coach Wayne Smith will become clearer as the All Blacks tussel with the franchise
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is hoping the future surrounding assistant coach Wayne Smith will become clearer as the All Blacks tussel with the franchise.
Smith has been with the Chiefs and Rennie since 2012 but now reports are surfacing that Steve Hansen would like to lure him back to the All Black ahead of the World Cup in England in 2015.
Smith has recently come out of contract with the Chiefs as the Waikato franchise bowed out of this year's Super Rugby competition with a hard-fought defeat against the Brumbies.
Smith was part of Sir Graham Henry's coaching staff when the All Blacks lifted the prestigious trophy at home in 2011.
There is clearly pressure on Smith to return to the All Blacks to help them try and retain the trophy.
"I think there's some pressure there in terms of the All Blacks," Rennie told Newstalk ZB.
"New Zealand Rugby would probably like to get him involved for that World Cup, and you can understand why."
While Smith is yet to make any official comment, it is understood that the 57-year-old is weighing up his rugby future with family commitments.
Smith began with the Chiefs in a part-time role, which later grew into a more demanding one.
He decided on the Chiefs in order to be close to his family after 14 years of full-time coaching with the All Blacks and Northampton in England.
Should Smith decide to make a return to the All Blacks, he would likely become unavailable for the Chiefs.
"He's a superb coach," Rennie added.
"He's been massive for us and obviously we'd like to have him involved with us again.
"But there's a bit of pressure there [from the All Blacks] and he also wants to spend a bit of time with family.
"Now that we're finished there's a chance to sit down and clarify what's important for him.
"We'll support whatever decision he makes. He's got to do what's best for him and his family."