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Dan Carter names the best coach he has ever worked with

Dan Carter has named Wayne Smith as the best coach he has ever worked with, labelling him as an “absolute genius” while lauding his work ethic.

Former New Zealand fly-half Carter has worked under plenty of great coaches in his time, including World Cup-winning head coaches Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, but the All Blacks legend reckons Smith was the best of the lot.

While Carter never played under Smith while he was a head coach, the 64-year-old did spend two spells as an assistant coach with the All Blacks during Carter’s time in black and acted as Kobelco Steelers’ director of rugby while the fly-half was playing with the Japanese side.

Carter was speaking on New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB and explained what set Smith above the rest.

Dan Carter on Wayne Smith.

“Absolute magician, absolute genius. I’ve never met anyone who works as hard as he does. He challenges you, he gets the best out of you. He’s a good friend. He was a big part of my journey,” Carter said.

“It is really hard to nail one coach because I had so many amazing coaches with Steve Hansen, Graham Henry, Robbie Deans, some absolute legends of world rugby.

“But the fact that Smithy could drag me to Japan for a couple of extra years at the end of my career goes to show how important he was to me. It was an amazing way to play for Smithy in the last couple of years in Japan.”

Wayne Smith’s coaching career.

Although Carter never played under Smith while he was a head coach, the New Zealander did take charge of Benetton Treviso, the Crusaders, the All Blacks and the Northampton Saints during a lengthy career.

Smith took over as the All Blacks’ head coach in 2000, but resigned the following year, as New Zealand failed to win the Bledisloe Cup back from Australia in both years, while Australia also claimed the Tri-nations title in both 2000 and 2001.

The experienced coach did return to the All Blacks set-up in 2004 as an assistant coach and stayed on until after they had won the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

Smith again joined the All Blacks’ coaching team ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and finished up with New Zealand for the final time in October 2017, after a narrow loss to old rivals Australia.

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