Life will go on for centurion Smith

(Rugby News Service) Saturday 22 October 2011
Life will go on for centurion Smith
Wayne Smith has won everything but the World Cup with the All Blacks

AUCKLAND, 22 Oct. - Wayne Smith was in philosophical mood on the eve of his final match as an All Blacks coach, insisting there would be life after Rugby World Cup 2011 whether his team win or lose Sunday's showdown with France at Eden Park.

"It's a game of footy and we want to do well at it," he told a press conference on Saturday. "But life will go on whatever happens."

Smith has been at head coach Graham Henry's side, along with fellow assistant Steve Hansen, through more than 100 Test matches since 2004 with the formidable management trio racking up 87 victories.

The 54-year-old, who works with the backs, said he would remain focused on the small details right up until kick-off.

"What happens after that happens," he said. "I don't think it will define me as a person or anything like that."

Winning the World Cup is the one achievement to have eluded Smith in his rugby career, which included playing 17 Tests for New Zealand between 1980 and 1985.

He said he was happy with the team's preparation and the coaches had done everything possible to equip the players to achieve victory.

"Most of our influence has finished and it's just a matter of sitting back and enjoying the opportunity and trusting the boys."

Smith will take up an advisory role with Hamilton-based Super Rugby team the Chiefs next season.

RNS eg/gs/tc