The former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith had a leading hand in luring Hurrricanes coach Chris Boyd to English club Northampton.
Boyd will leave the Hurricanes at the end of the upcoming Super rugby competition having signed a three year deal with Saints.
Smith is highly regarded at Northampton having led a revival at the club when he was head coach between 2001 and 2004 before returning to the All Blacks coaching evironment.
The chief executive of Northampton Mark Dardon says they wanted to sign Boyd from the outset.
"We went after Chris...(he) was right at the top of our list from early on and comes highly recommended," said Dardon.
"We spoke to Wayne and he and Chris have a good relationship - but we didn't just speak to Wayne about Chris we asked his advice on lots of candidates...
It appears Northampton had also sounded out Smith as to whether he was interested in returning to Saints but Dardon said Smith was already doing work with clubs in Japan and Italy and that ruled him out of any long term committment.
Dardon said because of Boyd's lack of exprience in the English competition he would be appointing local coaches as his assistants and would not be bringing any staff with him.
Boyd had been shortlisted to succeed Warren Gatland as Wales coach after the 2019 World Cup but his decision to head to England now rules that out.
The others on the Wales shortlist are fellow New Zealanders Wayne Pivac and Dave Rennie.