Brian Smith: London Irish director of rugby plays down exit talk

Brian Smith
Brian Smith's London Irish are 11th in the Premiership table

London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith says reports he could leave the Premiership club at the end of the current season are "pure speculation".

Smith, 48, has been at the Madejski Stadium since returning in March 2012, having previously held the post for three years between 2005-2008.

Irish are currently 11th in the league table after nine games.

"Stuff that's circulating now about various coaches and players, it's just that time of season," said Smith.

"That's all there is - it's purely speculation at this point.

"It's December and everyone's worried about next season. But I'm just worried about his season, so I'd rather just focus on the game at hand."

London Irish's Premiership woe
Under Brian Smith, London Irish have lost each of their last five Premiership matches, including back-to-back home defeats by Bath and Gloucester.

The Exiles have endured a difficult season so far, winning just twice, on the back of a disappointing 2013-14 campaign in which a squad containing Australia full-back James O'Connor and England winger Marland Yarde could only finish 10th.

Both of those players have since left and, despite the arrivals of international front-rowers Tom Court and Geoff Cross, Irish have again struggled to make an impact with just two wins in nine.

Smith initially left the Exiles in 2008 to become England attack coach and helped to lead the national side to the Six Nations Championship in 2011. He left that role in November 2011 after he was criticised in leaked reviews into England's World Cup campaign.

Strength and conditioning coach Steve Walsh and commercial director Jim O'Toole left London Irish only last week.

"There's always speculation about key players and coaches, as far as I'm concerned it's a private matter," continued Smith.

"I've got a contractual agreement with the club, when all that's resolved and sorted then we'll share it with the world but at the moment the stuff that's in circulation so far has been speculation.

"I can't do much about that but that's the industry, that's what happens, it's just that time of season."

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