17 Jun 2017

McLeod new All Blacks defence coach

11:07 am on 17 June 2017

The All Blacks have announced former plater Scott McLeod as their new defence coach to take over when Wayne Smith steps down.

Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Smith made the decision last month to take a break from the game when the Rugby Championship finishes in August.

Scott McLeod who has been assistant coach at the Highlanders since 2013 will take his place at the end of the Super Rugby season.

McLeod has also had coaching roles at the Chiefs from 2009 to 2012 and Waikato from 2008-2009.

During his playing career, McLeod featured in 123 first class games, including 10 tests for the All Blacks between 1995 and 2001.

In 2002 he took up a playing contract with Japanese team Brave Lupus in 2002 and played until his retirement in 2009.

McLeod said he's excited to transition into the role alongside Wayne Smith.

"He's the master coach, he's done a hell a lot for this teams environment and culture, he will leave a massive hole but with respects i don't want to fill his shoes.

"He's done a great job and i want to come in and do my own great job, so that's what i'm going to do," McLeod said.

He said he's looking forward to contributing to the legacy of the jersey.

"My defence strategy is pretty easy i think it's just all about getting the ball back and if you can do that in certain parts of the field then it opens it up for the attack."

McLeod will be a part of the coaching team through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.