'I don't come here to participate' - Franco Smith makes Glasgow Warriors statement in first press call

Franco Smith, the new Glasgow coach, has insisted that the Warriors can recover quickly from the disappointments of last season and start to be seriously successful again.

Franco Smith has signed a two-year deal at Glasgow Warriors.
Franco Smith has signed a two-year deal at Glasgow Warriors.

Glasgow’s 2021-22 campaign ended in a humiliating 76-14 URC quarter-final defeat by Leinster, a result which cost Smith’s predecessor Danny Wilson his job. But former South African international Smith is convinced that such a result is not a true reflection of the talent in his squad - and, speaking at Scotstoun on Thursday for the first time since his appointment, he said he would not be happy with just a modest improvement.

“We want to win everything,” he said. “Shall we not start there? I don’t come here to participate.

“We don’t just want to be successful only. We want to be significant as well. We want to be the heroes that Glasgow needs – we want to win as much as we can.”

Smith still has a few weeks to serve in his old job as Italian Rugby’s head of high performance, but has already seen enough of his new players to be convinced they can put last season behind them. “They’re very motivated after the disappointment of the last game of last season,” he continued. “They’re a fine bunch of guys, hard-working, and I can see their effort. I think the most important thing is to see what we can do, not look at what we’ve already done.

“It’s about the next job, that’s the most important thing. If we’re going to keep on carrying the weight of that disappointment we’re not going to get better. We’re getting rid of the past and we are keeping our eyes on what’s coming and what we can do to influence the outcome.”

Smith also hinted that he could appoint a new player as captain to succeed Scotland internationals Ryan Wilson and Fraser Brown, who have shared the honour in recent seasons. “We as a coaching group have discussed it – but for now we’re going to keep our cards close to our chests. That could be a little bit of a surprise going forward.”

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