Smith stays committed to Cheetahs
Cape Town - Cheetahs coach Franco Smith insists he will remain with the Bloemfontein-franchise for the foreseeable future.
In an interview with Netwerk24, the former Springbok flyhalf confirmed that Irish club Connacht, who are looking for a replacement for Pat Lam, had expressed an interest in acquiring his services.
Lam will coach English club Bristol next season.
“It’s true that I was contacted by Connacht in December, but I told them that I am committed to the Cheetahs,” Smith said.
Smith guided the Free State Cheetahs to the Currie Cup title last year when they defeated the Blue Bulls in the final in Bloemfontein.
He then joined the Springboks as an assistant coach on their year-end European tour.
It's widely understood that Springbok coach Allister Coetzee wants Smith as one of his assistants on a permanent basis and that appointment is likely to be confirmed later this week.
Smith's addition to the Bok coaching staff could mean that Mzwandile Stick loses his position as backline coach.
Meanwhile, Smith’s Cheetahs are currently in Zimbabwe on a Super Rugby pre-season tour.
They played their first match this past weekend when they went down 38-7 to the Stormers in Harare and will stay in Zimbabwe until Wednesday, before travelling to KwaZulu-Natal to tackle the Sharks in Umlazi on Friday.
The Cheetahs start their 2017 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Lions on Saturday, February 25 at 15:05.