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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Thursday, 20 March 2008

Smith plays down Ireland job link

Brian Smith
Smith says he will not let speculation affect his London Irish team (Getty)

London Irish coach Brian Smith has dismissed reports linking him with the Ireland coaching job after Eddie O'Sullivan resigned from the job.

Smith, who won nine caps for Ireland between 1990 and 1991, told BBC Radio Berkshire that he had not heard from the national team's governing body.

He said: "I have enough on my plate here at London Irish. We've massive challenges ahead of us.

"It is purely speculation and certainly not something that I'm aware of."

He added: "I really don't know what it's all about. I haven't been contacted by anyone and I wasn't aware until this morning that Eddie O'Sullivan had resigned."

Smith admitted that at some stage he would like to be involved in international coaching, but it is not something he is considering at the moment.

He's established himself as a wise, bright, young and ambitious coach.

London Irish chairman John Conlan

"Everybody would love to be part of a World Cup campaign, but the timing has to be right.

"I really want to focus on the massive task we have ahead in these next six Premiership games and our Heineken Cup match.

"I don't want this to become a distraction for our club - and I'm sure it won't. I'm certainly not distracted by it."

Club chairman John Conlan said he expected to keep hold of Smith's services for some time to come.

"He's done extremely well for London Irish and he's established himself as a wise, bright, young and ambitious coach.

"We believe that Brian and ourselves have more to achieve. I think the best is yet to come from Brian and that the squad and I very much hope that we can see it through together for the longer term."


see also
Exiles to build new training site
20 Mar 08 |  London Irish


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