Smith keen to stay England league coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith keen to stay England league coach

06/03/2009 09:11:21 AM Comments (0)

Tony Smith has insisted he wants to continue as England coach after this year despite returning to a full-time club post with Super League basement club Warrington on Thursday.

Smith has stepped down from his position as the Rugby Football League's technical director to become the head of coaching at Warrington, who have lost all three of their Super League matches so far this season.

But the 42-year-old Australian will remain as England head coach in a part-time capacity even though RFL chiefs have said in the past the job should be a permanent one.

Former Huddersfield and Leeds coach Smith will oversee England's mid-season international against France in Paris and their Four Nations tournament in October and November before his RFL contract expires.

Even though Smith was in charge for England's wretched World Cup last year, where they lost three of their four matches and were well beaten by Australia and New Zealand, their only serious rivals as major league nations, he wants to continue as a Test coach.

"It is something that I'd like to do but we'll assess it and make a decision later in the year," Smith told a news conference at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. "We'll see how things are going."

Asked if the RFL would now appoint a new technical director, chief executive Richard Lewis said that would depend on the outcome of a review into England's World Cup flop, which is due to be made public in a month's time.

"Clearly we would have liked Tony to remain full-time with us until the end of his contract," he said. "However, the demand for his services underlines his standing as a coach."

Warrington have brought in Smith following a poor start to the season under novice coach James Lowes, who nevertheless will remain with the Wolves.

When Lowes took over in a caretaker role after the sacking of Paul Cullen last season, the players responded well and Warrington won seven of his first eight games in charge.

Lowes was then handed a full-time contract until the end of this season but since then the Wolves have lost all eight matches and they were booed off the pitch following the north-west side's recent home loss to the Catalans Dragons.

Smith's first match in charge of Warrington will be against leaders Leeds, the team he coached to Super League glory in 2007 before taking charge of the national side full-time.

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