Franco says 'arrivederci'

Tue, 30 Jul 2013 10:15
Large franco smith630

Franco Smith, who has been with Benetton Treviso as player and then coach, since 2002 will not be renewing his contract with the Italian club.

Franco Smith, who has been with Benetton Treviso as player and then coach, since 2002 has announced that he will not be renewing his contract with Italy's top club after the coming season.

Smith, capped nine times for the Springboks as a flyhalf or an inside centre, originally went to Treviso to play for the club, which he did for three seasons.

In his playing days from 2002 to 2005 Treviso were twice the champions of Italy and once won the Coppa Italia. After the New Zealander Craig Green left the club, Smith became the coach and has coached the side for seven seasons which have included two league titles, one Coppa Italia and a Super Cup. (Supercoppa). For four seasons he has coached them in the Celtic League (Pro 12).  

He has announced that the coming season, 2013-2014, will be his last. Then he will be going home to South Africa where he hopes to carry on coaching. Smith, who has loved Italy, the place and the people, said in his announcement: "I have thought about it great deal and I have prayed. I will not renew the contract with Benetton. The 2013/14 season will be my last in Treviso. Treviso, players and fans, will always be in my heart..

"It is not a sudden decision, but certainly very difficult. I also wanted to take it now and let people know in time so that we can settle our children and better be able to organise our lives when we return to South Africa."

Smith, who turned 41 on 29 July, also said about the coming season: "I will be even more motivated. In my last year I would like to put the icing on the cake, I'll be much more determined. After six years of good rugby I'd love to continue and conclude the same way. There is no doubt that we will succeed."

Smith's early decision gives the club time to find a replacement and the names of Wayne Smith, Tabai Matson and Alessandro Troncon have been mentioned.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 19h30 Rodney Parade
Fri, 12 February 2016
Leinster v Zebre 19h30 RDS Arena
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h30 Kingspan Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 19h45 Kingston Park
Scarlets v Edinburgh 20h15 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ulster 13 8 0 5 41
Scarlets 13 9 0 4 40
Connacht 13 8 0 5 40
Leinster 12 9 0 3 39
Edinburgh 13 8 0 5 37
Munster 12 8 0 4 36
Ospreys 13 6 1 6 30
Glasgow Warriors 11 5 1 5 29
Cardiff Blues 12 5 0 7 27
Dragons 13 4 0 9 21
Zebre 12 4 0 8 18
Treviso 12 0 0 12 7
RELATED ARTICLES