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Smith and Gilbert could share coaching role
Auckland
December 16, 1999

After weeks of speculation over who will fill John Hart's shoes, there have now been reports that Wayne Smith and Tony Gilbert could both take an active coaching role with the All Blacks next year.

A report in the New Zealand Herald claimed the New Zealand Rugby Football union has decided that both should be involved with taking charge of the team as they aim to rebuild for next year after their demoralising World Cup campaign.

The decision on the new coach is due to be announced on Friday although the NZRFU board has the right to veto, delay or make another choice other than that presented by the interview panel.

The Herald reported that the panel stopped short of having co-coaches and that Smith would take overall control but with Gilbert also to have a significant coaching role. The last time a co-coaching set-up was tried at the 1991 World Cup with Alex Wylie and John Hart, it was widely considered to be a failure.

The panel entrusted with making the coaching recommendation consisted of David Rutherford, Evan Crawford, Andy Dalton, Richie Guy, John Graham and Tane Norton.

Some critics have suggested that there were better contenders for the job and that the board should delay making their decision.

Other candidates including Graham Henry, Brad Johnstone, John Mitchell, Gordon Hunter, Graham Mourie and Wayne Shelford all made themselves unavailable to tackle the job.

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