Smith in U-turn over move to London IrishBy Alan Manicom
July 03, 2012
Tom Smith has done a U-turn and will remain with the Ospreys rather than move to London Irish.
Exiles had announced Smith's signing in February, 2012, when Toby Booth was head coach.
But since then Brian Smith has taken charge at Irish as director of rugby and Booth has left to join Bath.
The club have declined to elaborate on the reasons behind the U-turn, stating only that "a change in circumstances" has led to the 26-year-old back-row forward staying in Wales.
Ospreys are in a better position financially after parting company with a number of high earners, including Tommy Bowe.
They didn't want to release Smith in the first place and have now given him a new three-year deal.
Their chief operations officer Andrew Hore said: "It's fantastic that we have been able to secure Tom's services until 2015.
"He is a real Ospreys stalwart and his experience and leadership is an asset to the organisation.
"Over the last 12 months or so we've had to make some very tough decisions for the long-term good of the business.
"However, because we didn't shirk these challenges we're now in a position where we are again in a position where we are able to make decisions for the right reasons, rugby reasons."
Smith played a key role in Ospreys winning the Pro12 title last season, featuring in every regular-season game and the 45-10 semi-final victory over Munster at the Liberty Stadium.
He said: "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract.
"We had a fantastic end to the season, winning the league again in such dramatic fashion in Dublin, and I'm really looking forward to helping the team build on that success."