Wayne Smith has ruled out switching his attention to a rescue job for the Blues, saying there is far too much work still to be done at the Chiefs.
The World Cup winning All Blacks assistant coach turned down an offer from England overnight, saying he is content in his new environment in the Waikato.
He cited family reasons - being close to his mother and father - as a primary reason for staying in New Zealand.
The other reason was to complete a job at the Chiefs. His tandem coaching act with Dave Rennie has helped them to the top of the Super Rugby ladder and Smith has another year to run on his contract there that he is clearly keen to honour.
With the Blues in disarray, Smith's decision to stay loyal to New Zealand raises him as an answer to their coaching woes. But he made it clear today that wasn't an option for now.
"I'm hugely committed to this (Chiefs) team. I love players and the coaching setup and the coaching team and I think we have a chance to create something special," Smith told Radio Sport.
"I have a contract with them ... I probably don't want to go and coach anyone else."
Smith said he had no approaches from the New Zealand Rugby Union to step into the Blues hot seat and undertake a cleanout to try to turn the former powerhouse around.
He said he was in the middle of doing something similar at the Chiefs and this wasn't the time to walk away.
"Long term that might be an option but we're not that good at the Chiefs that we can just up and leave and do other things. We are trying to create something special here and that's where a lot of my focus is. Our challenges are like the Blues challenges so I already have what I see an important job here. There is a lot of work to be done here."
Smith said his initial stance to get involved in international rugby again was something of a hangover from the World Cup success. Now that he had settled into his new life with the Chiefs and being close to his family. He had reassessed things.
He decided New Zealand was now his bets option.
"When I finished with the All Blacks I was on a high and I really enjoyed the international scene and the contest at that level. For a competitive person it's the ultimate. I was really enjoying it and wanted more of it.
"This decision probably means that option is gone. I've made a philosophical decision where I want to be at this stage of my life."
Smith said the England proposal was "strong". They were a team on the up and had a good vision. But at the end of the day the timing didn't suit him.
He admitted he had taken "advice" from his friends and All Blacks coaching mates.
He admitted ultimately, for a passionate All Blacks, coaching against them would have been difficult.
"I guess that's part of when you have to look inside yourself ... when things like that become a reality you starting thinking about it and you have to look at yourself and ask could you do it? That would be really difficult ... I have a lot of people I love playing in that jersey and goods friends in the management team. So that would always be difficult, a challenge, but difficult.
"Taking all those things into account this is a good decision for me and my family."
Smith said he had yet to sit down with the NZRU and map pout a long-term future. He was comfortable with his current situation and confident that he had the trust of the organisation to work things through in the future.
Right now it was all about keeping the momentum going with the Chiefs. Then he could enjoy the All Blacks as a new Zealande4r5 rather than someone in an England tracksuit.
"Now as a Kiwi, I can really back back-to-back world Cups for the All Blacks," said a contented Smith.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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