Smith sees positive future for England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith sees positive future for England

Ian Laybourn 09/11/2010 03:39:57 PM Comments (0)

Brian Smith, the man behind the scenes in England's disappointing Four Nations campaign, believes it could be the 2013 World Cup before the young Lions make their mark at international level.

Smith, who backed up after guiding the Sydney Roosters to the NRL grand final to act as performance advisor to England coach Steve McNamara, believes the outlook is bright for England.

Comprehensive defeats by New Zealand and Australia made it a tournament to forget for the tourists, but Smith said there were positives to take from the campaign with the side which ran out for the final match against Papua New Guinea having an average age of just 24.

"It's been fantastic," Smith said.

"The only reason really was to support Steve. I have great respect for him as a coach and admiration for him as a young man.

"He's created a nice set-up, as Tony (former England coach and Brian's brother Tony Smith) did in his regime, and there's potential for real growth.

"There were some disappointments obviously this time around and the guys didn't get the results.

"They were doing everything they could to win but this time they weren't good enough.

"But a lot of stuff has already been put in place with staffing and attitudes and behaviour, all the things you find in good footy clubs.

"It might be the World Cup by the time some of these guys mature enough from their international experiences."

Smith believes there were mitigating circumstances for England's failure to compete effectively with the Kiwis and the Kangaroos, pointing to the absence of a host of experienced stars, including two captains in Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley.

"That really hurt England," he said.

"You just don't have the number of players to pick from that Australia and New Zealand do.

"Hopefully next year and the year after and all the way to 2013 they can keep that crew that's here together and, who knows, they could build into something powerful."

Smith confirmed that his involvement with England ended after Saturday's 36-10 win over the Kumuls.

"That's it for me," he said. "I was happy to do this one for Steve.

"I will always be there to share ideas and I'd welcome him if he wants to come to the Roosters, as he did for a couple of weeks this season. I'll help him in any way I can."

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