NZRU digs in to keep 'hot' Hansen and Smith
New Zealand rugby boss Steve Tew admits the All Blacks coaches are "hot property". But he is not panicking over reports All Blacks forwards coach Steve Hansen will join Wayne Smith in defecting to Ospreys.
"It depends what you mean by an offer," Tew said, suggesting that Ospreys were making approaches to a wide range of coaches.
The drive to replace Lyn Jones is being lead by Andrew Hore, the Kiwi who used to head the New Zealand Rugby Union's high performance unit.
He might do well to avoid Tew when the All Blacks roll into Cardiff on Wednesday.
The Swansea club has made Smith an impressive offer that the backs coach has confirmed he will consider after the November tour to Britain and Ireland.
There have since been reports that Hansen might shift with Smith.
Tew accepted all of New Zealand's top coaches were vulnerable to lucrative overseas job offers.
"We already have Vern Cotter coaching in France and New Zealanders in charge of Japan, Canada, Australia and Wales.
"That's quite a chunk of New Zealand coaches coaching international sides.
"Nothing's changed quite frankly. There is a bit of heat in the media around Smithy, but the coaches are just like our players, they are hot property, they are the best in the world at what they do and they operate in the global market."
Tew said it was too early to say whether Smith could be retained but made it clear "it's not a done deal as some people are suggesting it is".
He also defended the coaches' rights to test the employment market despite having only just been controversially reappointed to the All Blacks after last year's World Cup debacle.
"In an ideal world these guys were appointed till the end of 2009 – to date they have done an outstanding job in 2008 and we would like them to carry on and fulfil their commitment.
"But we are also mindful that they have earned the right to decide their futures. In Smithy's case he has been a very loyal servant to New Zealand since 1997.
"Apart from the break he had at Northampton (after he was sacked from the All Blacks) he has been the Crusaders coach from 1997-99 and has been in the All Blacks environment since 1999.
"My personal view is that he has the right to decide what's best for him and his family at whatever time he decides it.
"He will have a very clear indication and encouragement from us that we want to keep him."[/b]