Smith targets England spot
Lions centre agrees to move to Harlequins
Last Updated: April 1, 2010 4:36pm
Smith: Joining Quins
Ollie Smith has admitted he has his sights set on an England recall after agreeing to join Harlequins for next season.
"I will be joining Quins a year before the World Cup, and I am not afraid to say that one of the reasons I have returned to England is so I can push for a position in next year's World Cup squad."
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The former Leicester centre, who toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2005, returns to England from Montpellier - and joins fellow new signings Joe Gray and Benjamin Urdapilleta at the Stoop.
And Smith is now hoping that he can go on and regain his place in the England side ahead of the World Cup in 2011.
"I am really looking forward to coming back to England and joining such a prestigious club, and one which has so much history," the 27-year-old told the Harlequins website.
"It boasts an exciting and young group of English players, some of whom I have been lucky enough to have played with during my time in the Saxons and the Churchill Cup. Quins is a team which is going in the right direction and I want to be a part of it.
"I will be joining Quins a year before the World Cup, and I am not afraid to say that one of the reasons I have returned to England is so I can push for a position in next year's World Cup squad, and I believe Quins, with the players and coaching structure that they have in place, will allow me to achieve that aspiration."
Former England Under-20s hooker Gray will arrive at Quins from Northampton Saints, while Argentina back Urdapilleta will join from South African Vodacom Cup side Pampas 15.
Urdapilleta can play at fly-half or in the centres and was capped by the Pumas in the autumn internationals.
And new Quins director of rugby Conor O'Shea is excited about the prospect of seeing the trio of new faces in action.
O'Shea added: "These three are the sort of players we want at Quins. At only 27, Ollie Smith will bring a huge amount to the club, both as a person and as a player.
"I am also excited to be adding the talents of both Benjamin and Joe, both of whom I expect to flourish within this environment."