Ollie Smith described becoming London Welsh’s new assistant coach as an “exciting” opportunity.

The former England and British & Irish Lions centre had been working at the club – who play at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium – on a trial basis since early in the season.

But yesterday 31-year-old Smith was officially confirmed as part of head coach Justin Burnell’s set-up with a responsibility for defence.

“To get the opportunity to come to London Welsh and work with a team that’s really striving to get back into the Premiership is very exciting,” said Smith, who was head coach at Esher last season.

“I like what Justin’s doing and with the help of Gordon Ross there’s a basis of respect and honesty within the camp, and I believe that work ethic is key to a successful team.”

Smith played for Leicester, with whom he won the Heineken Cup and Premiership, and Harlequins before retiring due to a knee injury.