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League defence guru joins Brumbies

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 06:57
Brian-smith630 Jake-white-630
It's like a first day at school for me
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Brian Smith has been unveiled as the Brumbies' new defensive consultant after being axed by Rugby League outfit Sydney Roosters.

Smith, who has coached extensively in Australia and Britain, joins a backroom staff that includes Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham and former Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher.

"It is great to have someone of Brian's experience and skillset join the Brumbies coaching staff," said coach Jake White.

"Brian will consult to the Brumbies and provide structured support around our defensive line and tackling."

White explained that Smith will travel to Canberra twice a week, until the season starts in February, when they will review the arrangement.

"I've made it quite clear when we got here that I wanted to improve our collision and try to improve our defence and I always felt that Rugby League had something to offer," he said.

"It's very difficult in the coaching world to know where (Smith's) going to be in six months' time so we're basically going from month to month and come February when our season starts we'll see where Brian is and hopefully he can continue," he said.

In a two-decade rugby league coaching career, Smith was at the helm at Illawarra, St George, Newcastle, Parramatta and the Roosters, but was unable to win a first-grade premiership.

He was sacked by the Roosters after the 2012 season, and said he was excited to be with the Brumbies.

"The opportunity to work with a talented young squad was very appealing," he said. "The Brumbies have put in place a first class programme, and I hope that I will be able to contribute to success in 2013."

The experienced coach said that switching to a new code brings a host of fresh new challenges which he is looking forward to.

"It's like a first day at school for me ...(I've) played one game of rugby at teachers' college and I had no idea what was going on around me, none whatsoever," he said.

"But this is where I'm best, not out there on the field, over on the other side of the line and trying to learn and analyse and put some stuff into place to help the guys do a good job."

Smith said that his focus will be on the physical aspect of tackling rather than tactical organisation, and added that it was too early to say whether his stay at the Brumbies will be long-term.

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