Rugby: Wayne Smith made Companion of NZ Order of Merit

Wayne Smith with his wife Trish after receiving the insignia of a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby during the ceremony at Government House today. Photo / Dean Purcell
Wayne Smith with his wife Trish after receiving the insignia of a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rugby during the ceremony at Government House today. Photo / Dean Purcell

Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith says he's embarrassed to have been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, but accepted the honour for the teams he's worked with and his family.

Smith was presented with the honour by Governor-General Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae at a ceremony at Government House in Auckland today.

"To tell you the truth it was pretty embarrassing sitting there beside Anne and David Norman on my left, who are incredible philanthropists, and Professor Peter Bergquist on the right, who's a genius in science, because, let's face it, I got mine for a team sport.

"But I was proud up there. You just think of all the teams you've coached over the years and you're accepting it for them really because no man wins a game of rugby by himself."

Smith was part of the coaching trio with Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen that steered the All Blacks to World Cup victory last year.

He was head coach of the All Blacks from 2000 to 2001 and coached the Crusaders from 1997 to 1999. Smith has also coached the Northampton Saints in England and was this year assistant coach at the Waikato Chiefs.

He played first five-eighth for the All Blacks from 1980 to 1985.

"I had 120 tests as a coach for the All Blacks, that takes its toll, and I played 35 games for them as well so over the years it's been a huge commitment, not only for me but for my family.

"It was great to have my family here, who have had to put up with my hectic schedule for so long so on one level this is great to recognise them as much as anything."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 22 Dec 2014 03:39:55 Processing Time: 460ms