Joe Schmidt on the All Blacks radar - Conrad Smith

Former All Black centre believes Schmidt could coach New Zealand after World Cup

Conrad Smith was speaking at an event to mark International Rugby Players Move To Dublin.

Conrad Smith was speaking at an event to mark International Rugby Players Move To Dublin.

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The two-time World Cup winning All Black centre Conrad Smith believes Joe Schmidt could become New Zealand coach when his contract runs out after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Highly regarded as an intelligent player, who thought his way around the pitch, Smith said Schmidt is very much on the Kiwi radar. Current All Black coach Steve Hansen’s contract also ends after the next World Cup.

“Kiwis, we love to claim people from New Zealand, especially when they’re successful, so we’re well aware of him being a New Zealander,” said Smith.

“And it’s helped by the fact our previous coaches have worked overseas - Graham Henry, Steve Hansen. He (Schmidt) is well within the talks. He’s doing a great job with Ireland. He’s someone who could potentially come back and coach the All Blacks.”

Smith added that Schmidt can communicate his thinking to the players, which not all coaches can do.

“All coaches have their attributes, but you get my point, he’s a very good technical understanding of the game, and can transfer that to players, which is a very big challenge,” added Smith. “It’s all very well having the knowledge but he can get players to buy into what he sees and to understand his take on the game. That’s how you get good results.

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