Opinion: Chiefs' mastermind Dave Rennie has to be the next All Blacks assistant coach

With legendary All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith having last week announced he'll step down later this year, New Zealand Rugby have to act quickly to ensure that one of the country's best coaches stays on our shores to fill the role.

Rennie made it clear that if he was to stay in NZ he would like to stay at the Chiefs rather than being an assistant coach for the All Blacks. Source: 1 NEWS

For Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, Smith's retirement at the end of the 2017 Rugby Championship is a golden opportunity to put himself at the front of the queue to seize the All Blacks job once Steve Hansen goes.

New Zealand Rugby now have to act fast to secure Rennie's services - at first as an All Blacks assistant coach, before letting him ascend into the top job in the same way that Steve Hansen did under Sir Graham Henry after the 2011 World Cup.

Rennie is without doubt, the most qualified man to take the biggest job in world rugby, having achieved success at every level within the pyramid of the game in New Zealand.

If any example was needed, look no further than what he's done to the Chiefs - transforming them from perennial under-achievers to back-to-back Super Rugby champions, winning both the 2012 and 2013 titles.

The All Blacks assistant admitted it hasn't been easy while coaching the world's number one team. Source: 1 NEWS

Bringing the Chiefs their maiden Super Rugby title in just his first season shows that Rennie has an understanding of what it takes to succeed as a coach at the top level, knowing what it takes to beat the Australian and South African style of play.

His experience at international level is also telling, winning three successive under-20 World Cups with the Baby Blacks, a feat his successors have struggled to emulate.

Yet, while Rennie would be the perfect successor to carry on the All Blacks' dominance of international rugby, Scottish side Glasgow Warriors have already pounced, sealing the signature of the Chiefs' mastermind for the start of the 2017 European season.

While the details and clauses in his agreement with Glasgow are not entirely clear, surely there would be some kind of clause within his contract freeing him up to be involved with an international side like the All Blacks if the job were to become available.

Wayne Smith announced today that he will step down from his assistant role at the All Blacks after the Rugby Championship this year. Source: 1 NEWS

Dave Rennie is too precious of a resource to lose to Europe at this point of his already glittering career.

Other names like Scott Robertson, Tana Umaga, Vern Cotter, Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland may all be in the mix as potential candidates for the job, but none have the winning pedigree that Rennie has already displayed within New Zealand.

Rennie will have an audition of his own when the Chiefs take on the touring Lions squad on June 20, with nations like England and Wales getting a sight of what he offers should they wish to offer him the job of national coach before New Zealand can do the same.

It may not be the ideal move for him to leave a head coach role just two years out from the 2019 World Cup, but simply put the coaching acumen of Dave Rennie is far too good for the All Blacks to waste.