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Wayne Smith ex All Black Assistant Coach


About Wayne Smith

Graham Henry on Wayne Smith:
“Wayne is the best coach I have ever coached with. He has a huge work ethic, does lots of research and has a great feel for the game. At the moment he is the defence coach and is also involved with our counter attacking strategy. He is a very thoughtful man and takes a major interest in how we use turnover ball. He has been going around with a little camera which he uses to track individual players for a whole game. It has proved quite embarrassing for some. There is nowhere to hide and the players soon learn where they have to step up. Top bloke.”


  • Born: 19 April, 1957, Putaruru, Waikato, NZ

Playing Career:

  • New Zealand: 35 matches (17 caps)
    36 points (6 tries, 4 drop goals)
  • Position: First five-eighth (fly-half)
  • Debut: Australia, aged 23, 21 June, 1980
  • Province: Canterbury

Coaching Career:

  • 1997-1999: Crusaders (Super 12 champions ’98, ’99)
  • 2000-2001: New Zealand
  • 2001-2004: Northampton
  • 2004-2011: All Blacks Assistant Coach (Tri Nations Champions 2005-08, 2010 & RWC 2011 Champions)
  • 2011-Present: Chiefs Technical Advisor

Wayne Smith's courses

Free content

Wayne Smith's latest articles

Counter Attack

There is no point even beginning to talk about counter attack unless you are also going to talk about defence at the same time. It would be like telling someone how to make an omelette but forgetting the bit about breaking a few eggs. Defence provides the ingredients for so many counter attacks. Before you can launch out from defence, you have to break eggs…

What's bugging Wayne Smith?

Laws that promote negative play make a lot of coaches want to throw rugby’s rulemakers under the deck of a scrummage machine. I am not talking about the laws that stop good, aggressive defence or the laws that hold attackers back from having an unfair advantage. I am talking about those laws that strangle an opportunity to attack before it has even started…

Wayne Smith: Decision Making on Attack Trailer

A sneak peak of Wayne Smith’s latest video to be released on Friday. Wayne demonstrates a simple model to assist in guiding your players to attack the space provided by the opposition defence.


An insight into different defensive patterns – what works for the All Blacks may not be the answer for junior clubs.

Wayne’s World - Kicking

New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup assistant coach Wayne Smith talks KICKING.

France is set to win the ugly Grand Slam

Wayne Smith takes a look at France and wonders if Phippe Saint-Andre is about to usher in an age of austerity

Trinh-Duc is number one in the top ten chart

Former All Blacks fly-half Wayne Smith looks at what the number tens bring to their teams in the Six Nations.

My position on the England job

Wayne Smith sets the record straight on his interest in the England job.

Andy Ellis was a huge part in our World Cup win

Wayne Smith looks at the huge influence the half back has on a modern rugby team and how the emphasis changes from country to country.

Wayne Smith: Counter Attack Trailer

Counter attack dominates try scoring in the modern game, it needs to be coached. In this video I will help you grow your players understanding of how to counter attack off kick receipts. What players should look for and how best to exploit the chasing defensive line.

Young Kiwi number tens show England the way

Why England has a dearth of top international number 10’s compared to all the young New Zealanders who stood out in the first week of Super 15.

Players will need time off from the Super 15 war zone

Coach John Plumtree should have a look in the Chiefs post match shed before he starts calling other conferences soft.

Leading from the front

Building a team around good leaders is not a guarantee of success but it sure does help.

The house of Lancaster has strong foundations

Wayne Smith looks at the job that Stuart Lancaster has done for England and finds much to applaud.

Why France have become so dull

Following his review of England’s Six Nations Wayne Smith now looks at the progress, or regress, of France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy.

Lancaster impressed but the Chiefs is where the heart is

Wayne Smith explains the reason why he chose the Chiefs over England.

Wayne Smith: Back Moves Trailer

In this video we will build an understanding of what players should be looking for in attack, how to give really good feedback to the playmaker or director of the backline and create really effective back attack and moves.

Brad Thorn – the man and the mana

Wayne Smith pays his tribute to Brad Thorn and looks back on a few of the stories that define the man.

Rugby means more to South Africa

Getting to know the South Africans was a huge part of the All Blacks World Cup success

All Blacks Unpredictibility Gives Them An Edge

The hardest teams to defend against are the ones that are least predictable. The All Blacks have that edge.

South Africa and Argentina Haunted by Fear

The greatest challenge to both South Africa and Argentina in their opening match of the Rugby Championship is to play without fear.

All Blacks can take Australia apart from set piece ball

Wayne Smith has a feeling that New Zealand could put a lot of points on a vulnerable Australia but he is not so sure about the outcome of the match between Argentina and South Africa in Mendoza

Australia’s biggest test is themselves

Wayne Smith sees a group of Australians who aren’t showing the same optimism after the anthem as they do before i

Pumas outsmart predictable South Africa

Wayne Smith is impressed with Argentina and believes they are a coming force in world rugby.

Graham Henry is a Teacher not a Traitor

Wayne Smith is saddened by the recent attacks on Graham Henry and decides to put the record straight.

Why coaches must not be slaves to rugby league fashion

Wayne Smith sees more and more rugby league formations coming into the union game and says that they are leaving big holes in the defences of the northern hemisphere teams

The Impossible Choice

Wayne Smith looks at the four nominations for the IRB Player of the Year and ranks the men involved

Wayne Smith: Wide Wide Attack

The latest module from Wayne Smith is out on Monday. Here’s a look at ‘Wide Wide Attack’ and how we integrate the forwards into attacking play.

Get Ready to Rumble

Wayne Smith looks forward to the Six Nations and expects England to maintain the momentum of their victory over the All Blacks

A Winning Attitude - Part One: Adieu To All That

In part one of ‘A Winning Attitude’ Wayne Smith looks at France and fears that ‘French Flair’ may be gone forever

A Winning Attitude - Part Two: See The Light

In Part Two of a winning attitude Wayne Smith looks at a team’s attitude to space and how they react to it

The Winning Habit

Wayne Smith looks at the ideas that took the Chiefs to a Super 15 title and ponders the difficulties of lifting the players in the second season

You can always rely on France to be unreliable

Wayne Smith previews the forthcoming series between New Zealand and France and is ready to be amazed

Ben Youngs must start for the Lions

Wayne Smith praises the rugby being played by the Lion’s thus far and thinks that Ben Youngs must be included in the starting lineup.

Beale’s Boots and the Lucky Lions

Wayne Smith tips Australia to level the series in Melbourne

Australia will attack All Black heart

Wayne Smith says the new Wallaby coach is a good tactician and believes that the selction for the first test makes a lot of sense

The Stats Do Lie by Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith explains why the stats that you see during and after a game are as useful as a chocolate teapot

Australia’s three major test failures

The reason that even some Aussies are giving Argentina a chance in Perth is the current failings of their team at three major areas of test match rugby.