Ollie Smith relishes his new role as Bury St Edmunds head coach

New Bury St Edmunds rugby head coach Ollie Smith. Picture: GREGG BROWN

New Bury St Edmunds rugby head coach Ollie Smith. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

New Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club head coach, Ollie Smith, is excited about the prospect of taking the club forward to the next level.

Former British Lions and England International Smith was officially unveiled as the new Bury head coach at a press conference staged at the Haberden this afternoon.

Smith has replaced Jon Clarke who, due to family and geographical issues, has had to leave the club despite only taking on the role at the end of last season, following the departure of long-term Director of Rugby, Gavin Hogg, to Old Albanians.

The Wolfpack were targeting a top-five berth last season, in National League Two South, but ended in 11th position, having avoided relegation with a trio of wins over Exmouth, Barnes and Barnstaple before going into the last month of the campaign.

Hogg masterminded two promotions in six successful years at the helm, but his successor, head coach Clarke, the former Northampton Saints centre, decided to leave the West Suffolk club just a little over two months since his appointment.

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Instead, Smith will be taking up the reins for Bury’s third season in the fourth tier of English rugby.

Smith said: “The set-up here is fantastic. It’s built up, from season to season.

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“The club has everything it needs to get into National League One, if not beyond that, especially if more and more Championship clubs end up being part-time.

“I want to push the club on from last season,” added Smith.

- Ollie Smith’s illustrious career

Terry Sands, Bury’s Pro-Am Performance Director, enthused: “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.”

And new head coach Smith added: “My role is full-time, but I will also enjoy some flexibility.

“I am currently based down in South-East London with my partner, but we are planning to get out of London and move nearer up here.”

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