All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith has signed a two-year contract extension.
Smith, who had been linked with a possible coaching role with the Springboks towards the end of last year, will instead remain with New Zealand rugby until after the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour.
Smith said after initially deciding to take a break following last year's successful World Cup campaign, conversations over the summer break with All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen had convinced him to continue with the team.
‘Steve presented a pretty compelling case, especially with the team facing the challenge of rebuilding and continuing its growth this year. It was a huge campaign last year and I was ready for a break, but I realised that it would be an exciting time to still to be involved. I love this team and want to do everything I can to help them succeed. It's going to be a big year and I'm looking forward to it.’
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images