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Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 16:33 UK

Smith is new England attack coach

Brian Smith
Smith is a former Australia and Ireland international

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith has been appointed as England's new attack coach.

He is the first appointment by new England manager Martin Johnson.

Smith joins Mike Ford (defence), John Wells (forwards), Jon Callard (kicking) and Graham Rowntree (scrummaging) in Johnson's coaching team.

Johnson said: "Brian is a top attack coach and I'm sure he will be a real asset. His appointment finalises the coaching team for next season."

In his three years at London Irish, Smith, who played international rugby for both Australia and Ireland, guided them to a third-place finish in the Premiership and last season took them to the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup.

606: DEBATE

He said: "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.

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

"I've enjoyed working with the playing and coaching staff and would like to thank all at the club, especially its exceptional supporters, for all the encouragement I've received."

Smith, 41, had made no secret of his desire to take the England role and the Rugby Football Union has been in on-going discussions with his former employers London Irish about compensation.

London Irish director John Conlan said the club was pleased the negotiations had been "conducted in a good natured way and concluded to the satisfaction of both parties".

Conlan added: "We wish him well for his new role with England.

"On behalf of all at London Irish I would like to thank Brian for his contribution to the club over the past three seasons. It has been an era of significant progress that we are determined to build on."

Smith, who also played rugby league for Balmain Tigers, started his coaching career at Eastern Suburbs and had spells with the Australia sevens team, the ACT Brumbies and Bath before joining London Irish.

During his time at the club the Reading-based outfit became renowned for their open style of play and attacking outlook.


see also
Five to remember from Brian Smith
14 Jul 08 |  London Irish
Smith admits to England interest
25 Jun 08 |  London Irish
Smith offered England backs role
14 May 08 |  English


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