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One of the foremost coaches in world rugby is to visit Scotland next month to spend time with the country’s two pro-clubs and to outline his philosophies to senior club and school coaches.


Wayne Smith, part of the management team that piloted New Zealand to last year’s Rugby World Cup, and who last month coached the Chiefs from Waikato to the Super Rugby title, will spend a week each with Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, observing the coaching teams led by Michael Bradley and Gregor Townsend respectively. Earlier in the summer, Townsend was in Waikato to see the Chiefs’ set-up. Smith will also present four invitation-only workshops to coaches at various levels of the professional, age-grade, club and school game during his fortnight stay.

Graham Lowe, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Performance Rugby, said: “We are delighted that Wayne will be spending time with our pro-clubs but for us it’s also important that those who are coaching in our clubs and schools have the opportunity to hear his ideas and get the chance to chat around best practice in one of the key areas of the game – the breakdown.”

Wayne Smith told “I’m really excited to visit Scotland and share some ideas. I have Scottish heritage and have always cherished touring here in the past with the All Blacks.

“Every coach has different thoughts on how to play the game and hopefully my Antipodean ideas will stir some interest! In my experience, every time you share an idea, you get a few back. From that perspective, I’m sure we’ll have some great conversations over the two weeks and we’ll all get something from them.”

Jock Peggie, Scottish Rugby’s Coaching Development Manager, said: “We are offering first XV coaches at under-18, school and adult club level the chance to hear at first hand the principles and strategies employed by a world-class expert in the game.

“By the end of each of the workshops, coaches will have an understanding of Wayne’s principles and strategies in the following areas:

• Try-scoring trends (the importance of turnover ball)
• Defensive structure
• Getting the ball back in the tackle and
• Recognising when the circumstances are right to counter-ruck.”

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session. Peggie noted: “This is an extension to the work undertaken by our own Eddie Pollock under his specialist skills programme where a number of Scotland’s top coaches deliver sessions around the country.

“Having Wayne here supplements our existing education and development opportunities.  He’s looking mainly at the tackle area, which is a very important part of the game and I would say to all club coaches that there’s a great chance to take what you believe could work for you and your team from what he has to say.”

Workshops for first XV coaches with National, Championship and Regional Division clubs and all club & school under-18 first XV coaches will take place on Monday 22 October at the club deck, Scotstoun Stadium, Danes Drive, Glasgow G14 9HD and on Monday 29 October in the President’s Suite, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh EH12 5PJ, both from 7-9.30pm.

Workshops for coaches in the professional teams, RBS Premier Division, national-age-grade teams and selected Scottish Rugby staff will take place on Wednesday 24 October at Scotstoun and Wednesday 31 October in the Smith & Wallace Suites at Murrayfield.  Again, both workshops will run from 7-9.30pm.

Peggie added: “This is an exciting opportunity and, going forward, we will look to repeat similar initiatives, targeted at specific areas of the game.”

2 Responses to Wayne Smith on his way to Scotland

  • 1

    I see that there is no “kick the ball aimlessly away” catagory that he will be coaching.
    Oh wait……..

  • 2

    @ Loosehead:
    Hello Loosehead you are right that is not on the agenda which is just as well as Andy Robinson seems to favour the ball in hand approach anyway. Don’t know what the final stat was but going into the last 6 nations game earlier this year Scotland had the highest amount of passes completed, so hopefully Smith’s input can help make more of those passes count and see Scotland scoring more tries. Sometimes it looked to me that they were passing the ball like it was a hot potato even if they didn’t make any ground in doing so as part of instruction and I felt they over did it at times especially when after 20 passes someone would eventually knock on or put a wayward pass, but I guess its just a question of time before the players execute Robinson’s philosphy the way he would like. I would still like to see a bit of variation in the play though as opposing teams can just fan out across the field and keep Scotland behind the advantage line with all the passes, so hopefully they will add variation in the angle of running onto the ball and also get the ball quicker out of the rucks, not sure if Robinson is that keen on the grubber but Ruaridh Jackson does them quite well so this can also be added to the play to keep the opposition guessing as long as its not over done. Having said Robinson doesn’t seem to favour the kick and chase we may just see a bit more of that in the upcoming internationals as with Tim Visser he has a strong player who competes very well in the air, but Visser also runs so well that they will want to pass the ball to him as well.


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