Opinion: Munster should approach Wayne Smith

Rassie Erasmus is due to leave Limerick in December

Opinion: Munster should approach Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

Munster should do everything in their power to get the signature of Wayne Smith as their new Director of Rugby.

With the news that Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber are both to return to their native South Africa, the southern province are on the lookout for new leadership.

Wayne Smith has to be the stand-out candidate.

The current All-Black assistant coach announced in May that he would be taking some time away from the game after the conclusion of the 2017 Rugby Championship.  

He has been involved in coaching since 1998 and was a pivotal part of both New Zealand's Rugby World Cup wins in 2011 and 2015.

Wayne Smith and Aaron Cruden. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

In between those triumphs, he stepped aside from the national role and took up a position at the Waikato Chiefs - helping them to win back-to-back Super Rugby titles in 2012 and 2013. 

This season's Rugby Championship doesn't conclude until early October so he might not be keen to take the reigns at Munster straight away.

A temporary management team could be put in place if he was willing to takeover for the 2018/19 season and sign on for the long term. Having already fulfilled everything possible with the All Blacks, it's unlikely he'll "hear the call" to return home - as is the case with Erasmus. 

Smith is the consummate professional and is rumoured to have turned down an offer from Stuart Lancaster in 2012 to join his England set-up - as the former All Black didn't want to reveal the secrets of New Zealand's winning formula.

The challenge of taking Munster back to the top of European Rugby could well be a project which appeals to him. Munster should go and find out.