Former British & Irish Lion Ollie Smith is new head coach at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club

Ollie Smith in action for the British & Irish Lions. Picture: PA SPORT

Ollie Smith in action for the British & Irish Lions. Picture: PA SPORT - Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES

Former British & Irish Lion and England international Ollie Smith has been revealed as the new head coach at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club.

It comes just months after the ambitious National League Two South club named Jon Clarke as their new top man, but he has had to leave before taking charge of a game due to personal reasons.

Smith’s stellar playing career saw him capped for England five times and once for the British and Irish Lions in 2005.

The 34-year-old also played for Premiership giants Leicester Tigers, and had stints at Montpellier and Harlequins.

Since retiring he has served as head coach for Esher RFC in the Championship and coached with London Welsh in the Aviva Premiership.

Terry Sands, Pro-Am Performance Director at Bury St Edmunds RUFC said: “This is an exceptional appointment and raises the bar for the club, showing just how committed we are to delivering quality coaching from the top down.

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“There can’t be many National League 2 clubs with a Lions international as head coach and with such relevant high level coaching experience too.

“Ollie is a brilliant fit for Bury; talented and ambitious and we look forward to the season ahead with both him and Kevin Maggs bringing their experience to bear.

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“We are sorry to bid farewell to Jon so soon but respect his decision to put the interests of his family first and wish him every success in the future.”

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