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BREAKING: Head coach Ollie Smith leaves Bury St Edmunds RUFC

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LEAVING: Head coach Ollie Smith announced he is leaving by the end of February, with the side next in action on March 3
LEAVING: Head coach Ollie Smith announced he is leaving by the end of February, with the side next in action on March 3

Bury St Edmunds RUFC have announced that head coach Ollie Smith is leaving the club, after less than a season at the helm.

But the club have already lined up a replacement in former Northampton Saints academy coach Jon Curry.

Curry is no stranger to Bury having previously been an important member of the coaching team, only stepping aside when his coaching responsibilities at Saints were increased. Joining him will be James Storey as backs coach. Howard Parr continues as Wolfpack forwards coach.

He will immediately replace Smith for the side's next match on March 3, away to Clifton, as the team hunt for their first win on the road since October 28.

Smith joined the club over the summer of 2017 with a view to propelling the team towards a promotion push in the National League 2 South.

He was joined shortly after by retired Irish international Kevin Maggs in a part-time role as Pro-am director of rugby.

And after a good start in the league, a poor run against the top sides in December saw their promotion-hopes fade away to leave only a highest ever league finish (sixth or above) as the team's remaining goal.

A club spokesman said: "The time and travel commitment required to fulfil the head coach role on a full time basis is such that Ollie has reluctantly made the decision to relinquish the position in order to be able to devote his time to his young family and other business interests."

Meanwhile, Pro-Am performance director Terry Sands said: "We are obviously disappointed to bid farewell to Ollie but respect his decision to place his family first.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jon back to Bury, a huge opportunity for the club, only made possible following recent coaching changes at Northampton.

"Together, with James Storey as backs coach they will form a formidable team."

Jon Curry was previously head coach at North Walsham RFC for seven years where he guided the club to National League status, while also working for Leicester Tigers as Norfolk elite player development coach.

He was also coach of the Spanish national team. He and James will be supported by the current experienced pro-am coaching team including performance director Terry Sands and director of rugby, Kevin Maggs.

Sands added: "The club wishes to thank Ollie for all his efforts this season, stepping into the role at short notice over the summer and we wish him well for the future."