The London Irish director of Rugby has left his position at the club stating that family reasons were behind the departure.  He has left the club yesterday, before his contract has expired. The 48 year-old from Queensland, Australia is expected to be returning to Australia and joining his family.

Smith, who started his rugby career by playing for the Queensland Reds and won six caps for Australia, has been involved with English rugby for over two decades; he first played as a fly-half for Leicester Tigers for the 1990/1991 season, before starting his coaching career which spanned over 10 years, first with Bath Rugby and then with London Irish.

During Smith’s leadership, the Exiles reached the final of the 2009 Guinness Premiership only to lose 9-10 to Leicester Tigers. In the 2007/2008 season the club came close to the Heineken Cup final, which was played at Twickenham; they lost to Toulouse 15-21 in the semi - finals.

After this successive spell with the Exiles, Smith was recruited to become the attack coach for England between 2008 and 2011. But after the Lions unsuccessful performance in the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, when they only reached the quarter finals, Smith was sacked as the attack coach.

Upon his return to the Exiles in 2012, the club did not repeat their 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 performance; they have struggled and are now sitting 11th in the Aviva Premiership after winning only four matches this season. They are only one place far from the relegation mire, but luckily they have ended a spell of five successive defeats after beating Exeter 28-26 on Sunday's thrilling encounter, with a last minute saviour drop shot from Shane Geragthy.

The New Zealand Chief’s assistant coach, Tom Coventry has already been appointed to take Smith’s position of the director of rugby for the 2015-2016 season.  Coventry was part of the coaching set up at the Chiefs who won the 2012 and 2013 Super Rugby Title in New Zealand; he is set to be integrated in time for the start of the next season and try to restore the Exiles past glory and meet expectations of the club’s owners and fans.