Esher chief executive Mike Schmid has confirmed Harlequins centre Ollie Smith is in the running for a full-time role at the club – and it could be as head coach.
The 29-year-old British & Irish Lion and Heineken Cup winner has been part of the coaching team at Molesey Road for the past 12 months on a part-time basis.
Leicester Tigers great Smith has not played rugby since suffering a horrific leg break playing for Quins in 2010, and has combined his rehab with marshalling Schmid’s backs during the club’s doomed Championship campaign.
Schmid is expected to unveil his successor as director of rugby over the weekend, with the final round of interviews being conducted on Friday.
Smith is on a long-list of candidates being considered by chairman John Inverdale and the club’s board of directors.
“We have strong core of applicants from England, but there are also candidates from Canada, South Africa and New Zealand,” said Schmid.
“Experience ranges from lots to none at all and all points in between.
“We are looking for a head coach and assistant combination, with one or other responsible for the backs.
“Ollie is a very strong candidate. He has been with us for 12 months and I have been impressed.
“He clearly has a lot of attributes that would be of benefit to us.”
Schmid is set to unveil – before the weekend – some of the 20 or so players he expected to remain at the club for a National Division One title push next season.