Wayne Smith returning to All Blacks in unique new role
- Publish Date
- Friday, 26 May 2023, 8:22AM
Wayne Smith has been appointed as Performance Coach to the Black Ferns and All Blacks in a unique new role that will include mentoring and supporting the respective Head Coaches and enhancing the quality of coaching delivery across the two teams.
Smith has already started working with Black Ferns Director of Rugby Allan Bunting but will not start his role with the All Blacks until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup when new Head Coach Scott Robertson takes up the role.
Smith said he was grateful to be able to continue his long association with the legacy of the black jersey and New Zealand Rugby (NZR). He was head coach of the All Blacks in 2000 and 2001 and then worked as an assistant in successful World Cup campaigns in 2011 and 2015.
“I have a deep connection and love for any team that wears the black jersey and particularly the Black Ferns and the All Blacks. I also have strong relationships with the respective head coaches and many of the players, so it feels like this role across the two teams is a natural fit, and one where I can hopefully add and contribute to both environments.”
Smith, who masterminded the Black Ferns 2022 Rugby World Cup championship run as Head Coach, said he would continue to challenge norms and encourage coaches and players to think outside the box.
“It’s important to consider different perspectives and solutions as coaches. As we head into a new era for the game, I am a great believer in the importance of diversity, of relationships and of people. As a coach I’ve been very fortunate to have been exposed to that through my career”.
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said Smith would be the Performance Coach to sit across the Black Ferns and All Blacks, and the new role would continue a legacy of innovation and excellence.
“Smithy’s input and insights on the shape of the game and trends in the game internationally will be of enormous benefit to coaches and players, but more than that his integrity, honesty, passion for the jersey and care for the legacy of the black jersey are invaluable.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of his calibre in our game and involved with our two top national teams the Black Ferns and the All Blacks. I know he is excited and energised by the challenge ahead and I’m confident our players, fans and stakeholders will feel the same way.”
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission
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