Wayne Smith (rugby player)

Wayne Smith
Full name Wayne Ross Smith
Date of birth (1957-04-19) 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
Playing career
Position First five-eighth
New Zealand No. 806
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1980–85 New Zealand 17 (6)
Coaching career
Years Club / team
ASD Rugby Casale
Benetton Rugby Treviso
All Blacks
Northampton Saints
All Blacks (asst. coach)
Chiefs (asst. coach)
All Blacks (asst. coach)

Wayne Ross Smith CNZM (born 19 April 1957) is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player. He is currently assistant coach of the All Blacks, alongside Ian Foster. He helped coach the All Blacks to victory at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, and the Chiefs to win the 2012 and 2013 Super Rugby titles.


Smith played for Canterbury domestically, and made his international debut in 1980. He played first five-eighth, gaining 35 caps for the All Blacks, 17 in Tests.


Smith's first major coaching role was for the Crusaders in the Super 12 competition in 1997. He coached the Crusaders to two titles in 1998 and 1999 before being appointed All Blacks coach after the 1999 Rugby World Cup. After losing his position as head coach of the All Blacks in late 2001 he went 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 commented that 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."[1]

Smith took up the assistant coaching position at the New Zealand Super Rugby team Chiefs in 2012. In 2012 the Chiefs won their first Super Rugby title by defeating the Sharks 37–6 in the final. As well as being a coach, Smith is also seen as an important mentor to many players, such as Sonny Bill Williams.[2]

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 Smith's 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."[3][4]

Smith rejoined the All Blacks team in 2015, ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[5]

External links


  1. Doyle, Paul (22 May 2010). "Small Talk – Justin Marshall". Guardian. UK: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  2. Gregor Paul (29 May 2016). "Rugby: SBW commits to rugby". Herald on Sunday. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  3. Mortimer, James (11 August 2012). "Smith staying with the Chiefs despite continued attention" (Press release). All Blacks and NZ Rugby. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  4. Cully, Paul (11 August 2012). "Smith to stay put with Chiefs". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  5. Wayne Smith to re-join All Blacks coaching staff for 2015
Sporting positions
Preceded by
John Hart
All Blacks coach
Succeeded by
John Mitchell
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