Two-year deal

Glasgow Warriors appoint Smith as head coach

Franco Smith (DB)
Style: Franco Smith

Glasgow Warriors have appointed Franco Smith as the club’s new head coach on an initial two-year contract.

Smith joins from the Italian Rugby Federation where he has served as head of high performance since 2021, and previously as the men’s national head coach from 2020.

The 50-year-old replaces Danny Wilson and will arrive at Scotstoun at the end of August.

“I have followed Glasgow for a long time, since coaching at Benetton when they joined the PRO12 in 2010, and the way they play has always appealed to me because their style is embraced by the fans,” he said.

“In coaching I always have these objectives: to play a winning brand of rugby; to have a style that is good to watch and that the fans can associate with.

“There are also opportunities at Glasgow to contribute to the pathway for up-and-coming players, making sure we are developing creative, fit, and knowledgeable rugby players from a young age that we will bring all the way through to Scotland.

“I am looking forward to joining the club and getting to know the coaching staff and players as we begin working together.”

Smith, a former Springbok, made a try-scoring debut against Scotland at Murrayfield and won nine caps for his country between 1996 and 1999.

During his playing career he played for Free State Cheetahs, Griquas, Blue Bulls, and The Pumas in South Africa, as well as Newport, Bologna, and Benetton Treviso in Europe.

Glasgow Warriors managing director Alastair Kellock said: “We are delighted to be signing a head coach with Franco’s club and international experience to lead our squad in the coming seasons.

“After an extensive search it was Franco’s depth of knowledge in the game and his experiences at professional club and international levels that stood out. Thank you to the Italian Rugby Federation for their willingness to make this appointment possible.

“I know Franco will bring an exciting identity to our game based on high tempo and hard work, and he will bring the best out of the talented group of players we have at Scotstoun.”

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