A long-standing relationship between Melbourne Storm and the formidable All Blacks has continued with New Zealand Assistant Coach Wayne Smith visiting Storm HQ during the week.

After first connecting at an Auckland training camp in 2010, Storm has maintained a good relationship with the formidable national outfit ever since. In November last year as part of their post season study tour, Head Coach Craig Bellamy and Football Director Frank Ponissi travelled to the United States to spend a week with the All Blacks in Chicago.

Upon his most recent visit to Melbourne, the highly regarded Smith explained the working relationship between the two organisations.

“The All Blacks have a pretty close relationship with Melbourne Storm,” Smith told Storm TV.

“There’s a lot of synergy…there is a lot of cross code stuff that can be shared without worrying too much about competition.

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“It’s a safe environment, it’s a good place to share ideas and I think it benefits both of us.”

Player driven outcomes and an emotional attachment to the cause are just a sample of the similarities Smith can see between Storm and the All Blacks who have both developed strong and successful cultures over the years.

These similarities not only allow both organisations to confirm and consolidate their own internal processes but also provide each outfit the opportunity to learn from each other as they continue striving for growth and success.

“There’s definitely a lot of similarities (between the two organisations), particularly in terms of the culture developing the leadership by the players, the empowerment of the players,” Smith explained.

“They are high performing environments but they care about people, there’s a love of the game that characterizes both organisations and a love of the jersey.

“There are a lot of things on common that we share and learn off each other to try and improve.

“If you asked anyone at either club they would say that it’s one of the biggest things in their lives.

“The stakes are high and the consequences are high if you don’t win. All those things together create flow, high performance and winning teams.”

As both teams move into new seasons and a new year hungry to reach another level, you can be sure neither will leave a stone unturned in their pursuit for higher honours.