17 Nov 2015

World Cup-winning coaching combo breaks up

4:56 pm on 17 November 2015

All Blacks defence coach Wayne Smith is taking a year off full-time coaching following the side's Rugby World Cup success.

Smith returned to the All Blacks coaching set-up this year as the World Cup loomed.

He was part of the All Blacks coaching staff from 2004 through to the team's victory at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, before stepping down.

However coach Steve Hansen was keen to get him back on board as the All Blacks looked to retain the Webb Ellis Trophy, with Hansen describing him as one of the most "astute coaches in world rugby".

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith.

Wayne Smith is one of the one of the most astute rugby coaches in the world says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Current assistant coach Ian Foster and scrum coach Mike Cron have both extended their contracts until 2017.

Foster has been Hansen's assistant since 2012, with the pair fashioning a 49-win, three-loss, two-draw record in their 54 tests together.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said with a number of senior players leaving the All Blacks, the management team would provide crucial guidance to the new players expected in the All Blacks next year.

The All Blacks have a busy test schedule in 2016, with Wales coming to New Zealand in June for three tests followed by the annual Rugby Championship and the end of year tour to Europe.

In 2017 the highlight will be the tour by the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand, which will include three tests against the All Blacks.

Coaching combo Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith

Coaching combo Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith Photo: Photosport

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