Tony Smith Resigns

Tony Smith has resigned as coach of the England rugby league side.

Smith revealed on BBC Radio 5 programme Sportsweek he was quitting for family reasons, confirming he would have done so regardless of the result on Saturday.

He said: (quote) Even if we had won last night I would still have stepped down,all of my coaching career I have put my personal aspirations first, however I must now consider the needs of my family. Next year the Four Nations is in the southern hemisphere and after a long domestic season with Warrington it would mean at least six weeks away from home with England. I must consider my family’s needs as well as my own, and therefore believe now is the right time to stand down. I will continue to support the national team in any way I can and wish my successor the very best of luck. (end quote)

RFL chairman Richard Lewis said: (quote) Tony explained to us before the start of the Gillette Four Nations his reasons for not wanting to continue as national coach, which we appreciate, and we wish him well for his future. Our aim is to win the 2013 World Cup and by including so many youngsters in his Gillette Four Nations squad Tony has certainly set the wheels in motion to achieve this. (end quote)

Australian-born Smith, who became a British citizen in September 2008, has endured a turbulent tenure as coach of the national team. He enjoyed 10 wins in his 16 games in charge, the highlight of which was a 3-0 Test series whitewash of New Zealand in 2007, but failed to inspire the side to the heights many felt them capable. He was criticised for the side’s poor performances at last year’s World Cup where they suffered a record 52-4 loss to Australia and suffered two losses to eventual winners New Zealand, including in the semi-final.