Franco Smith appointed Glasgow Warriors head coach on two-year deal

Franco Smith
Franco Smith will replace Danny Wilson at Glasgow Warriors

Franco Smith has been appointed Glasgow Warriors head coach on a two-year deal.

The former Italy head coach, 50, was most recently the country's head of high performance.

Warriors parted with Danny Wilson in June, his two-year spell ending with a 76-14 United Rugby Championship quarter-final defeat by Leinster.

"I have followed Glasgow for a long time, since coaching at Benetton when they joined the Pro12 in 2010," said former Springbok Smith.

"The way they play has always appealed to me because their style is embraced by the fans.

"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."

Warriors begin their new URC campaign in Italy, against Benetton on the weekend of 16-18 September, and meet Cardiff in their first home game the following weekend.

Smith, who will take up his new post at the end of August, was capped as a back by South Africa nine times, and scored a try on his debut against Scotland at Murrayfield in 1997.

He has been head coach at Benetton and former Pro14 club Cheetahs.

And Glasgow managing director Alastair Kellock commented: "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.

"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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