Full name Wayne Ross Smith
Born April 19, 1957, Putaruru
Current age 59 years 311 days
Major teams New Zealand Cavaliers, New Zealand, New Zealand XV
|Test debut||Australia v New Zealand at Sydney, Jun 21, 1980 match details|
|Last Test||Argentina v New Zealand at Buenos Aires, Nov 2, 1985 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Tournament list|
Better known as the mastermind behind the All Blacks' impressive offensive tactics, the former All Blacks' assistant Wayne Smith unsurprisingly also had a distinguished playing career.
Smith played 17 Test matches in the late 70's and early 1980's while playing representative rugby at the highest level with distinction for Canterbury.
A slight figure, weighing less than 80kg and standing 1.78m tall Smith did spend a fair amount of time in the treatment room as a variety of injuries laid him low throughout his career.
He made his international bow for the All Blacks on the 1980 tour of Australia making his debut in the first Test before suffering from yet another injury and leaving the tour early.
It was another two years before he regained his place in the national side in 1982 against the Wallabies, capping an excellent season for Smith as he scored the winning try for Canterbury against Wellington in the Ranfurly Shield challenge match.
In what was a golden era domestically for Canterbury, Smith was an integral cog in that success developing a strong kicking game to compliment his inventiveness with ball in hand.
Smith played in the second and third Test of the 1983 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and then toured Scotland and England with the All Blacks at the end of the year.
Smith was now firmly established as the as the All Blacks' first-choice inside centre playing in the 1984 Tests against France and the touring Australians. He was again in the side for all the 1985 domestic Tests and was also chosen for the tour of South Africa that was eventually cancelled.
His final involvement with the All Blacks was in the second Test of the tour of Argentina after Grant Fox fell ill. He made the 1986 rebel tour of South Africa before winding down his playing career with time spent in Italy and a last handful of appearances for Canterbury in 1989.
A cerebral player, Smith's hand quickly turned to coaching and had his first stint with the Canterrbury sevens team before he went to serve a two year term as the Hawke's Bay union chief executive.
In 1997 Smith returned to Canterbury where he took charge of the Crusaders' Super 12 campaign, winning the competition in 1998 and 1999. During his time with the Crusaders he also was the assistant coach with the All Blacks before getting the head coaching role in 2000.
After losing to Australia in a narrow and highly emotional Bledisloe Cup encounter in Sydney, it was John Eales' final Test appearance, Smith parted ways with the All Blacks with the reins being handed on to John Mitchell. Smith left New Zealand and took over as the head coach of the Guinness Premiership side the Northampton Saints.
Smith rejoined the All Blacks coaching set-up after Graham Henry was appointed head coach in 2004, Smith along with Steve Hansen joined Henry's staff. Smith played a key role in their 2011 World Cup triumph alongside Henry and Hansen and took up a post with the Chiefs for the 2012 Super Rugby season.
With the Rugby Football Union looking to recruit a specialist backs coach, Smith's was suggested as a potential replacement for Andy Farrell. Stuart Lancaster flew out to South Africa to meet Smith but he opted to stay in New Zealand and turned down the opportunity to join the coaching team.