RFU open talks with Kiwi World Cup winning coach Smith over England role

NEW ZEALAND’S former World Cup winning coach Wayne Smith has been approached by the Rugby Football Union with regards to the vacancies at Twickenham.

Smith was in the country last week working alongside Nick Mallet, one of the leading contenders to succeed Martin Johnson as team manager, coaching the southern hemisphere side for the Help for Heroes match at Twickenham.

Smith, the former Northampton director of rugby, is contracted for the next two seasons to the Chiefs, one of New Zealand’s Super 15 sides, but has a release clause at the end of the first year and has expressed his wish to coach at international level again.

“I have consistently said I want to coach Test match rugby again,” said Smith, who revealed he spoke to officials from the RFU last week about England.

“My preference would be to be the head coach, but the environment we had in the All Blacks with Graham and Steve meant you were like a head coach because we had the same accountability.

“As a former All Blacks coach, you are going to get approaches. My commitment is with the Chiefs but I am interested in coaching at the top again. England are a team with huge resources, both playing and monetary, and of course they would be a team of interest to me.”