Smith ponders England offer
Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith has revealed he will decide within 10 days whether to accept a coaching role with the England rugby team.
England coach Stuart Lancaster recently met with Smith in South Africa, where the New Zealander was touring with the Waikato Chiefs, and offered him a variety of roles including a head coaching position.
Smith took up a two-year contract with the Chiefs this year after helping coach the All Blacks to World Cup glory on home soil.
The 55-year-old has an exit clause in his contract and could be coaching at Twickenham after the Super Rugby season ends in August.
"I've got some major considerations to make over the next 10 days," Smith said.
Asked if the role he had been offered involved looking after the England backs or defence or was a head coaching position, Smith said "all of the above are the suggestions". He said he would do what was best for the team.
If he was to take over as head coach, Lancaster might move into a role as director of coaching.
"I love being a head coach," he said. "The only question I had over the England job that was advertised, the actual job description of the role, was that it was more in line with strategically running the team.
"It didn't appear to be a 'track-suited' role. I couldn't imagine a foreigner coming in and running the All Blacks. I'm of the belief that it's right that an Englishman does that for the English team. I'm pretty used to being the head man. I'm always comfortable in that role."
Smith said he would have no difficulty working with Lancaster, who took charge of England after the resignation of Martin Johnson.
"He's very humble and he knows what needs to be done over there because it's not just about coaching the players as we've found out here with the All Blacks," Smith said.
"It's aligning all your provincial coaches and club coaches because they're the people coaching your players. Getting them on-side and getting the buy-in to the national team being strong and vibrant and challenging the best in the world is pretty important.
"That will be his major role. He wants some on-field coaches, he will be in charge of strategy and alignment, and the campaign overall."
Smith said he had at least three issues to consider in deciding whether to accept and England role; the impact on his family and his obligation to the Waikato Chiefs.
"The third one is having put the last eight years of my life into coaching the All Blacks and trying to win the World Cup, I'm going to have to search inside myself to see whether I could coach a team against them," Smith said.
"It's not just going to any team, it's going to a team that over time will potentially challenge the All Blacks, so I've got to be clear in my mind that I could be a part of that."