During the period dominated by the Six Nations, London Irish announced the return of a former favourite to help reignite their success on the pitch.
After leaving his position as the attack coach for England following a traumatic World Cup, the Australian has returned to the Madjeski as the club’s Director of Rugby.
The 45 year-old will hope to rekindle the winning formula alongside Booth that gained the management duo many admirers during their first spell together between 2005 and 2008.
In that time, Irish reached the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup where they narrowly lost to Toulouse, while a year on after Smith’s departure to the national set-up they reached the Premiership final, only losing to Leicester Tigers by a solitary point at Twickenham.
However, since reaching the domestic season’s showpiece in 2009 the Berkshire-based club have been unable to build on those foundations, failing to reach the play-offs in the three seasons since and now finding their Heineken Cup status in serious doubt.
Irish have continued to maintain their brand of attacking fluency in their game, but slumps in important periods of the campaign have hampered progression.
Two years ago, just one win in their final five matches cost them a place in the top four, and last season a run of six successive Premiership defeats during the winter period left them with just too much to do come the business end of the campaign.
Now Booth’s men find themselves on a run of five consecutive league losses, and it has led to the Irish heirarchy bringing in a familar face to help take the workload off of the 42 year-old.
Booth has admitted that he has found it tough dealing with the player recruitment side of things at the club, as well as having to concentrate on matters on the pitch.
This is the time of year when the rumour mill is in overdrive and many players within the Irish squad are the subject of speculation on their future, as well as many having committed their futures elsewhere.
Dan Bowden and Adam Thompstone are expected to join Leicester, and while they have recruited the likes of Tomas O’Leary, George Skivington and Scott Lawson, it will now be Smith’s responsibility, allowing Booth to concentrate on playing matters.
The big question that remains though is whether Booth will hang around to find out if the combination will work for a second time.
He has stated that he only knew about Smith’s return a day or so before it was announced, and while there is no disputing their personal or professional relationship, there is a suggestion that Booth may end up at Bath this summer.
This would be a huge disappointment for the club and its fans, as it seems the main reason for Smith being brought back was to carry on where they left off four years ago.
If Booth was to stay then it will be fascinating to see Irish cannot complete what they started under the duo beforehand, and go that extra step further in their quest to take them to even greater heights than before.
So what do you think? Will the combination of Booth and Smith work a second time? Will Booth remain at the Madjeski come the summer? Leave a comment and let us know your views.