Smith interested in England role
December 8, 2011
Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith has expressed an interest in the England job © Getty Images
Former New Zealand coach Wayne Smith has confirmed he would consider a role in a new-look England management team.
Smith, who guided the All Blacks between 2000-01 and served as assistant to head coach Graham Henry as the hosts claimed the Rugby World Cup crown earlier this year, is committed to working with the Chiefs for the forthcoming Super Rugby season, which ends in September, but he is keen on a return to international rugby.
Ex-South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett is the favourite to replace Martin Johnson as England head coach, with Smith seen by many as the ideal right-hand man because of his All Blacks experience. The former Northampton director of rugby was reportedly approached by the Rugby Football Union when he linked up with Mallett for the Help for Heroes charity match.
"There are always opportunities on the table. It is my craft and it is my professional. If it [a job with England] ever came along I'd have to have a look at it, but certainly not in the next six months," Smith told TV3 in New Zealand. "I'd like to coach Test match rugby again as a head coach or within an environment like we had [in the All Blacks]. It was like being head coach, you had the same accountabilities."
Smith has signed a two-year deal to work as assistant coach with the Chiefs but head coach Dave Rennie confirmed they would not hold him to it. "It was a real coup getting Smithy in the first place. He signed a two year deal but our view has been that if he got the opportunity to coach international rugby again we would not stand in his way at all," Rennie said.
The RFU are currently finalising the interim management team that will take charge of England for the Six Nations, with Stuart Lancaster considered favourite to be the caretaker head coach.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.