x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Smith will stay with All Blacks

Wayne Smith has turned down an offer from the Welsh side Ospreys to see out his two-year deal with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

Wayne Smith has turned down an offer from the Welsh side Ospreys to see out his two-year deal with the New Zealand Rugby Union. Smith has been Graham Henry's assistant All Blacks coach since 2004 but had been contemplating the offer from the Osprets because of his desire to spend more time with his family. But after negotiating a reduction in the amount of high performance work and travel he will do, the former All Blacks fly-half will remain working alongside Henry and fellow assistant coach Steve Hansen until the end of 2009.

"I love the jersey, I love my country and I love the people I'm working with and coaching," he said. "That's the most important thing in the game and sometimes you have to remind yourself of that." Speculation had been rife about Smith's future throughout New Zealand's grand slam tour, and he revealed the Ospreys were just one of a host of European clubs interested in signing him. "He's the best in the world at what he does and his presence in this group is huge with his love of the team," Henry said of Smith, 51.

* PA Sport