Hansen keen on re-signing Smith for All Blacks
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is leaving the door open for Wayne Smith to return to the coaching team in World Cup year.
But he insisted yesterday it isn't a done deal yet.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said earlier this month that Smith faced a tough choice between staying as a Chiefs assistant coach next year or answering a call to help the All Blacks defend the World Cup.
Smith is yet to declare his intentions.
Quizzed yesterday on the issue, Hansen said: "If he's available, why wouldn't we want to use him? But I think Dave took more into it than what there was."
Rennie made his comments in a radio interview after the Chiefs lost their Super Rugby playoffs game against the Brumbies.
But he told Fairfax Media after arriving home in Hamilton that the issue had "probably been blown out of all proportion".
"What I was implying is that Smithy is committed to New Zealand rugby to the end of next year and of course we want to keep him at the Chiefs," Rennie said.
"But if he decided to take a year off or whatever there is no doubt that New Zealand [Rugby Union] would probably try to get him involved in some capacity in New Zealand rugby - that's what I was saying, I guess."