All Blacks back Ben Smith confirms French fling

New Zealand confirm they approached Joe Schmidt with job offer last year

It's emerged that Ireland head coach, Joe Schmidt, turned down an approach from the All Blacks a year ago.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt rejected an approach from New Zealand Rugby to join the All Blacks coaching team a year ago, it has been revealed.

Schmidt instead elected to stay on as Ireland head coach until the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

For Hansen, he wants to spend more time with his family.

"I'm excited about the opportunities that may present themselves in the future, but I also realise that my playing time with Otago, the Highlanders and the All Blacks now has an end point", Smith said.

Hansen has been in the position since 2012 and prior to that was an assistant coach for eight years.

Hansen has guided the All Blacks through 95 tests, winning 84, drawing three and losing eight, for a success rate of nearly 89 percent. I'm not looking any more forward than that.

Schmidt has now confirmed he will leave his Irish role following the tournament in Japan next year, with defence coach Andy Farrell lined up to replace him.

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The 32-year-old Smith had always been expected to quit New Zealand after the global showpiece and seek an overseas contract.

He had been heavily touted to succeed Hansen, but that suggestion was dampened down when Schmidt revealed his intention to walk away from the Ireland job. The person taking over will either inherit a team on top of the world, for the third time in succession, and be charged with maintaining that unprecedented era - or will take over as the All Blacks slip from greatness and need a re-boot after 16 long years of Stephen William Hansen, CNZM.

The move comes after a decade of top-level rugby for Smith, who has played 76 tests for the All Blacks and 144 games for the Highlanders. "He's developed as a coach, as a man and he's got some great qualities".

"Yeah I have", he said when asked if he'd thought about what he will do after next year's World Cup.

Rennie won Super Rugby titles in his first two seasons with the Chiefs and was said to be in the running for the Wales job before Wayne Pivac got the nod.

He succeeded Henry as the head coach after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

"He cares deeply about the game and the wider issues facing it and his views are hugely respected not only in New Zealand but internationally".

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