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Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 15:46 UK

Smith poised to land England role

Brian Smith
Smith has made no secret of his desire to work with the England team

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith is expected to be named as England's attack coach shortly, BBC Sport understands.

Smith has agreed to become the final piece in the coaching jigsaw of new team manager Martin Johnson.

All that remains is for the Rugby Football Union to compensate Irish for the final year of Smith's contract.

"We have identified the person we want and offered him the role," elite rugby director Rob Andrew said on Tuesday.

"At this moment in time we are still discussing his release from his existing contract. We hope that will be resolved as soon as possible."

Irish are unhappy that news of the RFU's intention to approach Smith made its way into the media weeks ago.

Smith made no secret of his desire to join up with the England set-up in an interview with BBC Radio Berkshire last week.

"I've made my feelings clear to the board and our new chairman, Andrew Coppel," he said.


"Once or twice in your career you have the chance to work with a national team at a World Cup.

"Things are being sorted out. It's got to be right for the club. If I am to move on, it has to be win-win for everyone."

Johnson conceded the delay over appointing a new attack coach was "a bit frustrating" when he formally assumed his role as England team manager on Tuesday.

He must also decide whether to retain all the coaches he inherited from his predecessor Brian Ashton - Mike Ford (defence), John Wells (forwards), Jon Callard (kicking) and Graham Rowntree (scrummaging).

see also
Smith admits to England interest
25 Jun 08 |  London Irish
Smith offered England backs role
14 May 08 |  English

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