NZRU eager for Wayne Smith to snub England

Wayne Smith
© PA Photos
New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says that they won't stand in Wayne Smith's way if he decides to join England but insists that the governing body are determined to keep the coach.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew has revealed that the governing body are trying their utmost to keep hold of former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith.

The 55-year-old, who is currently working with the Waikato Chiefs, has been linked with a switch to the England national side, with a decision imminent within the next 10 days.

"We consider Wayne to be an incredible asset to New Zealand rugby, not just the All Blacks but New Zealand rugby full stop," said Tew.

"He has worked incredibly hard on behalf of this organisation for an extended period of time so he has earned our respect to make whatever decision he wants to make and we are certainly not going to leave him without options, but we are desperately keen to keep him in New Zealand.

"He is one of our intellectual properties. He has been with us for so long and been such an important contributor to developing things that work in our environment that we think he is a special case to protect."

Smith helped the All Blacks clinch the World Cup trophy last year during an eight-year stint as Graham Henry's assistant.

Wayne Smith
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