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Wayne Smith to stay in New Zealand

01 May 2012

  • Former All Black coach will not link up with England
  • Smith - "It was an incredibly difficult decision but ultimately I have decided to stay in New Zealand, mainly for personal reasons"
Wayne Smith

Photo: Getty Images

Wayne Smith has decided to stay in New Zealand for personal reasons rather than join the England coaching team.

Wayne Smith said: "I was very impressed with Stuart [Lancaster] when I met him. He is an outstanding individual and will be a great plus for England Rugby and anyone who works in his team will be very fortunate. England have some fantastic young players and the opportunity to work with them ahead of the 2015 World Cup was very appealing.

"I also want to compliment the RFU on the way they have conducted the process. They have acted with integrity, diligence and patience.

"It was an incredibly difficult decision but ultimately I have decided to stay in New Zealand, mainly for personal reasons. I took the job with the Chiefs so I could move nearer to elderly parents. I have travelled the globe with rugby for the last 15 years and I want to fulfil my commitment to be closer to them.

"I do also feel some loyalty to the Chiefs and the job that I have with them and leaving after eight months when I have a year left on my contract did not feel right."

England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "Wayne rang me this morning and I fully respect his decision which, as he says, was a difficult one.

"He is clearly a coach of quality, honesty and integrity. I enjoyed meeting him and wish him all the best for the future in his coaching role with the Chiefs. All my energy will now go into preparing for an exciting tour to South Africa and I will reassess the coaching team post tour prior to the start of the QBE Internationals."

RFU Chief Executive Officer Ian Ritchie said: “We are disappointed but it is important to remember we already have some very talented coaches on board. We will take stock after the tour and make sure we do all we can to support Stuart in building a coaching team to take us through to 2015.”