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Booth explains Smith return

Brian Smith's return to London Irish as director of rugby came partly on the recommendation of World Cup winning coach Jake White, who was brought into the club as a consultant last January.

Smith held the same job at London Irish between 2005 and 2008 before leaving to become England's attack coach under Martin Johnson. Toby Booth assumed Smith's managerial responsibilities on top of his own head coach duties - and White recognised immediately the burden was becoming too great.

"When Brian left for England and I took over I said there was a potential shortfall there. We went with it but when Jake White came in we spoke about the same thing," Booth said. "He said 'I can't believe how much you have got to do. The work load is very high'."

He added: "He also recommended we do not rely so heavily on the academy.

"Finally we have got to a situation where the coach is coaching and the manager is managing.

"It had to be Brian (as director of rugby) because of the relationship and the trust I have with him allows me to spend more time on the pitch.

"My expertise has been getting the best out of players and coaching.

"This is ultimately reverting back to the structure we had before."

London Irish have a significant rebuilding job ahead of them, with the departures of big-name players like Nick Kennedy and Delon Armitage this summer.

Smith will oversee the London Irish recruitment, allowing Booth to focus on transforming their on-field fortunes after four consecutive Aviva Premiership defeats.


From Belfast Telegraph