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Brumbies snare former NRL coach Brian Smith


Chris Dutton

Former NRL coach Brian Smith.

Former NRL coach Brian Smith. Photo: Getty Images

The ACT Brumbies have successfully landed a cross-code blow, securing former NRL coach Brian Smith as a consultant coach for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

The former St George, Parramatta, Newcastle and Roosters mentor will join Jake White's coaching staff in an attempt to add starch to the Brumbies' defence.

It comes a month after the Brumbies tried to sign rugby league great Danny Buderus as a collision coach.

However, the NRL stepped in and blocked the move just hours after Buderus was unveiled at Brumbies HQ.

Rugby league officials were left fuming the Brumbies had signed Buderus while he still had a year left on his playing contract in the NRL.

White then tried to sign former Canberra Raiders captain Alan Tongue.

But Tongue declined because he is employed by the NRL.

Smith has reportedly been to one training session in the capital to assist White and his team in the pre-season.

When the Buderus debacle had settled, White was adamant he wasn't launching a cross-code war against rugby league and instead just wanted to improve his team.

But by signing Smith, rugby league will view the move as a strike against them.

Smith was sacked by the Roosters after the 2012 season - during which they finished 13th - despite having a year remaining on his contract.

He has failed to secure another full-time job in Australia.

He was set to be without a coaching job next year until he got a call from White.

Smith coached for more than 550 games in the NRL, but never won a premiership.

White's coaching staff now includes Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham and former Brumbies head coach Laurie Fisher as his assistants.

Former Wallabies captain George Gregan is a consultant with Smith as well as Eddie Jones.

Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said: "The focus on the moment is on the pre-season period and working with the guys and it's wonderful to have someone of Brian's experience.

"He and Jake will be exchanging ideas on all sorts of things.

"When Jake first arrived last year one of the first things he did was speak to a number of coaches in other codes and Brian was one of those.

"Jake's not adverse to bring in outsiders to try to offer a different point of view. It's a good thing for us and it's an area of focus for Jake ... it ended up being a bit of a mess with Danny Buderus and I think this is a good thing moving forward for us."



  • It is hardly a cross-code blow. He is only going to rugby because no one wants him in league.

    Date and time
    December 11, 2012, 8:38AM
    • Brian Smith is without a doubt the worst coach to grace the NRL ranks ever, words cannot describe how bad this guy is, he is the kiss of death to any NRL team, he should be permanently banned from League and be made to pay restitution to the many clubs that he has decimated over the years. He has now taken his peculiar form of pestilence over to union as if that code isn't screwed up enough already.

      Sarcasm anyone?

      Mrs Cube
      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 11:51AM
  • I wonder how many more NRL rejects union can buy before the end of the season. I guess there is next to no talent within their own ranks.

    Date and time
    December 11, 2012, 9:09AM
    • You're a goose aren't you?
      Go on, you know you are.

      They signed him as a consultant. To bring in a few new ideas. He's just a consultant, he's not a even a full time assistant.
      Buderas or Tounge would have been the same. Frankly the NRL are ridiculous and paranoid.
      "A strike against them". What a bunch of children.

      There have been ideas back and forth for decades. Since both codes began. Players have gone back and forth too.
      Pull your head out.

      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 11:18AM
    • No talent eh!!! Need i remind you that some of the greatest names in your game started out in Union. Ray Price, Wally Lewis, Michael O'Connor, Ricky Stuart, Arthur Summons, Rex Mossop.... and the list goes on and on and on. Its funny how you mungo's cry foul when one of your own defects to the thinking persons game (i.e. half a brain). If Izzy Folau wants to gain international recognition and open opportunities League could never give him, then why not. Or is it that famous tall poppy syndrome kicking in again. Like crabs in a bucket, when one trys to get out, they all claw it back in.

      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 1:01PM
    • Akuila Uate will be the next reject to head to union. He's a class act and the ra ra's will love him.

      Iron Mike
      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 1:25PM
    • Jon, hes still an NRL reject and and would be getting well paid by rugby due to there being no talent left in rugby. God only knows why any sport would want to sign him.

      Pull your head in and put that tweet coat back on rugby boy.

      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 1:50PM
    • Jon, take a breath. It's the journo who wrote this who sees it as a cross-code blow. I doubt anyone in the NRL would see the Brumbies signing a sacked coach as a blow.

      How funny would it be if Smith finally won a premiership, but as a consultant and in a different code at that.

      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 1:51PM
  • Still wish Brumbies CEO could explain where the money has come from to pay all these 'consultant' coaches. The sale of the Headquarters in Griffith is supposedly not approved yet .... Does he know something that we don't?? He seems to be spending money that is not actually here yet! Please explain ....

    Date and time
    December 11, 2012, 9:29AM
    • maybe this is how........

      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 12:35PM

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