Franco Smith beats Stormers’ John Dobson to URC Coach of the Season award

Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith. Picture: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Glasgow Warriors head coach Franco Smith. Picture: Ciro De Luca/Reuters

Published May 23, 2023


Johannesburg - Former Free State Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has been named as the United Rugby Championship coach of the season on Tuesday.

Smith, who coaches Glasgow Warriors, led the Scottish franchise to their group Shield – which also consists of the two Italian teams – finishing the tournament with a quarter-final loss to Munster. Warriors finished the regular season fourth in the standings, having won 13 matches and losing the remaining five.

They scored the fifth most points in the competition (503 points) and the fifth most tries (73) as Smith’s attack-minded approach took root at the team and blossomed into an exciting brand of rugby. The Warriors also contested the EPCR Challenge Cup final, losing out to a powerful Toulon team this past weekend.

Although they suffered a heavy 43-10 defeat in that final, Smith said afterwards: “This is season one for this group. This is not the end for us, this is just the start. It’s a steppingstone.”

Smith beat the likes of Stormers coach John Dobson to the prize.

The former Italian mentor joins Glasgow’s Sione Tuipulotu on this season’s URC Awards honours role for 2022/23. The centre was last week named in the URC Elite XV, one of only two Scottish based players in the team of the season.

Only one honour remains to be announced in the URC Awards – the Players’ Player of the Season. The URC completes its campaign on Saturday when the defending champions, the Stormers, and Irish outfit Munster contest the Grand Final at Cape Town Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm).

IOL Sport