After a near 40-year association with the All Blacks, Wayne Smith has signed o to finally give himself the chance to travel.
WAYNE SMITH HAS FINALLY BROUGHT THE CURTAIN DOWN ON HIS NEAR 40-YEAR ASSOCIATION WITH THE ALL BLACKS.
An appetite for hard work and a thirst for knowledge are two successful traits that were ingrained in Wayne Smith during his formative years. “My old man was of Scottish descent,” explains the popular All Blacks assistant coach, “and I was taught to finish what I started. He gave me nothing. I had to work for everything. And I suppose that shaped me as a young person.”
Small for his age, ‘Smithy’ didn’t crack the Putaruru High School 1st XV until his seventh form year although he had already benefited from hours of lunchtime tutelage from maths teacher Pat McEntee.
“Pat was my 2nd XV coach, he taught me how to kick off my left foot. Pat believed in me more than I believed in myself back then.”
Smith learned some valuable lessons during his 1st XV career. “I remember running a double round off the back of the lineout and getting smashed,” he smiles. “Afterwards my coach Dave Merito, a former Maori All Black, told me how easy it is for the flanker off the tail to shut that move down.”
Upon leaving high school Smith enjoyed a season with the University of Waikato U21 team, mainly because his father didn’t think he was ready to play seniors.
“I never dreamed I was going to do anything special in rugby, my only aim was to play seniors for Putaruru. The following season I played for Putaruru Athletic and made a few Waikato junior sides.”
George Simpkins, who had expertly guided the Matamata College 1st XV, had become the