Doncaster Knights unveil former British and Irish Lions forward as new head coach

New Doncaster Knights head coach Tom SmithNew Doncaster Knights head coach Tom Smith
New Doncaster Knights head coach Tom Smith
Doncaster Knights have appointed former British and Irish Lions prop Tom Smith as their new head coach.

The 47-year-old, who toured with the Lions in both 1997 and 2001, also won over 60 caps for Scotland whom he captained on several occasions.

Rated one of the best loose-head props of his generation, Smith made nearly 200 appearances for Premiership giants Northampton Saints one of which was at Castle Park during their season in the Championship following relegation.

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After hanging up his boots in 2009 Smith served as forwards coach at Edinburgh helping them reach the Heineken Cup semi-final.

He has also coached in France in recent years most recently at D2 side Perigueux.

Club benefactor Steve Lloyd said that Smith had proved the outstanding candidate in a strong field of applicants.

“As well as his coaching credentials he came across as being very calm and collected and a thinking man and I think he will fit in well,” he said.

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Currently working in Hong Kong, Smith will take up his new post at the start of June and work under director of rugby Clive Griffiths prior to taking over from him at the end of next season.

“I’ve not met Tom but I obviously know of him,” said Griffiths.

“He was an outstanding player. You don’t start for the Lions in six test matches unless you are a very good player.

“He’s not the most experienced coach but he’s not been afraid to put himself out there while cutting his teeth as he’s shown by working in France and currently Hong Kong.”

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In another development long-serving forwards coach Glen Kenworthy will take up a new role of Director of Rugby Development.

“Glen’s role will cover Doncaster Phoenix, Academy and youth rugby and he will also continue to coach the Yorkshire U20s,” said Lloyd.

“He will also be charged with bringing talent to the club and he’ll be working to give us a far better youth base.

“These days you’ve got to grow your own talent and we are going to set up a two-year project to help that happen and build on the success of the Academy which has already produced several players for the Knights.”