Smith becomes attack coach for England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith becomes attack coach for England

15/07/2008 07:04:43 AM Comments (0)

Former Australian and Ireland rugby international fly-half Brian Smith has left his post as London Irish rugby director to become attack coach for England.

The 41-year-old had been much sought after by new England head coach Martin Johnson having proved himself at Bath as defence coach and then at London Irish, where he had been for three years.

He also worked in Australia with Sydney-based Eastern Suburbs who enjoyed an undefeated season in 2000 which led to a role coaching with the ACT Brumbies who reached the Super 12 final in 2001.

He made an immediate impact at London Irish when he joined them at the beginning of the 2005-06 campaign, guiding them to third place in the Premiership and the final of the European Challenge Cup.

Last season London Irish played in a memorable European Cup semi-final against Toulouse, taking the current French champions to the wire.

Johnson was ecstatic to have netted Smith as he attempts to restore England to the top of the tree, which he achieved in 2003 as a player when he lifted the World Cup in Sydney having beaten the Australians.

"Brian is a top attack coach and I'm sure he will be a real asset to us," said Johnson, who was unable to take charge of the England side that lost 2-0 to the All Blacks in their recent tour of New Zealand.

Smith, who played for Australia in the inaugural World Cup in 1987 before playing for Ireland nine times from 1989, admitted the chance of coaching at international level had been too good to miss.

"The opportunity to coach at international level comes along rarely in one's career so I'm looking forward to my new position with England, it's an exciting time to be involved," said Smith.

"I would like to thank London Irish for the opportunity the club has given me."

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