The New Zealand Rugby Union have said that they will do everything possible to keep World Cup winning Chiefs coach Wayne Smith in New Zealand.
Chiefs Assistant coach Smith was Graham Henry's assistant for eight years with the All Blacks but is now working with the Chiefs in Hamilton.
Smith has been approached by new England coach Stuart Lancaster and is considering a move to England that will take him to the end to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
NZRU chief executive Steve Tew has however said that they would do everything they could keep Smith in New Zealand,
"We consider Wayne to be an incredible asset to New Zealand rugby, not just the All Blacks but New Zealand rugby full stop," Tew told reporters after a NZRU board meeting.
"He has worked incredibly hard on behalf of this organisation for an extended period of time so he has earned our respect to make whatever decision he wants to make and we are certainly not going to leave him without options, but we are desperately keen to keep him in New Zealand."
Smith is a former All Black fly half and Tew says the 55-year-old has too much inside knowledge of the All Blacks tactics and coaching techniques so they want to keep him from taking his knowledge abroad.
"He is one of our intellectual properties." Tew told Reuters.
"He has been with us for so long and been such an important contributor to developing things that work in our environment that we think he is a special case to protect.
"He has achieved an enormous amount as a coach and he loves coaching and he loves a challenge ... we are dead keen to find a solution but there is no easy one."
Smith has committed to the Chiefs for two seasons but he has an exit clause which he could activate at the end of the current Super Rugby season in August.
That would allow Smith to join England ahead of their match in December against the All Blacks but Smith said this could be a factor in his ultimate decision.
"Having put the last eight years of my life into coaching the All Blacks and trying to win the World Cup, I'm going to have to search inside myself to see whether I could coach a team against them," Smith said, adding he hoped to make a decision over the next 10 days.
"It's not just going to any team, it's going to a team that over time will potentially challenge the All Blacks, so I've got to be clear in my mind that I could be a part of that."