Lancaster set to meet with Wayne Smith
April 20, 2012
RFU-target Wayne Smith helped steer the All Blacks to the Rugby World Cup crown last year © Getty Images
Lancaster is under increasing pressure to fill the void left by Saracens first team coach Andy Farrell who turned down the opportunity to work with England full-time having helped steer them to second place in this year's Six Nations while on secondment from his Premiership employers.
Smith, who is currently working with Super Rugby side The Chiefs, helped steer the All Blacks to the Rugby World Cup crown last year having previously served as head coach and is thought to be the frontrunner to join a management team that is also set to include current assistant Graham Rowntree. The Daily Mail reports that Lancaster will speak to Smith in Durban this weekend, where he is preparing for The Chiefs' latest outing against The Sharks, to clarify the role available.
Smith took up a two-year contract with The Chiefs in the wake of the World Cup but it is understood he has an option to leave after the current Super Rugby season that ends in August. As a result, Lancaster is likely to appoint an interim assistant coach for the tour of South Africa in June with former England coach Brian Ashton, Clermont Auvergne assistant Alex King and London Irish assistant Mike Catt reportedly in line for a short-term appointment.
Farrell's decided to snub a full-time role with England in favour of remaining part of the Saracens set-up where he is under contract for a further two years. However, The Times reports that a major factor in Farrell's decision was what Saracens considered a "derisory" compensation offer. The newspaper claims the RFU offered £60,000 to buy Farrell out of a contract that is believed to be worth £150,000 a year to the former dual code international.
The article goes on to say that Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths met with Rob Andrew, the RFU's professional game director, in an attempt to thrash out a deal and were willing to let Farrell go if the price was right but talks broke down.
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