New Zealand

In demand, but not in the market

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 12:15
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I've now given a verbal agreement to the NZRU that I'll be staying
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Wayne Smith is hot property, the most in demand coach at the moment. However, the former All Black assistant is going nowhere.

Smith confirmed that he was approach to rescue the troubled Waratahs, but turned them down and will, instead, most likely extend his stay with the Super Rugby champion Chiefs.

Smith, fresh from playing a key role in masterminding the Chiefs' first Super Rugby title, confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald the Waratahs had approached his agent but he had already recommitted to the New Zealand Rugby Union.

"I've now given a verbal agreement to the New Zealand Rugby Union that I'll be staying," Smith told the newspaper.

"I haven't got a contract as yet, but I will do shortly and that will be with the NZRU through to 2015.

"So I'm not on the market."

Smith had been chased - and tempted - by England earlier this year, and said the Waratahs approach had not progressed further due to his desire to stay in New Zealand.

"I had an approach from my agent, who said [the Waratahs] had contacted him … but he knew I'd made a verbal agreement to New Zealand … so there was no further discussion."

It did not take long for Smith's name to be linked to the Waratahs after the club's former coach Michael Foley signed a three-year deal with the Western Force.

Along with fellow Chiefs assistant coaches Tom Coventry and Andrew Strawbridge, and under head coach Dave Rennie, Smith helped to transform the Chiefs into championship material this year after they finished bottom of the New Zealand conference last year.

Smith said he was keen to stay with the Chiefs next year and perhaps beyond.

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