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Super League: Tony Smith named as new Hull FC head coach | Rugby League News

Former Great Britain and England head coach Tony Smith was most recently in charge at Hull FC’s cross-city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers; He also enjoyed successful spells overseeing Betfred Super League sides Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves

Last Updated: 09/09/22 6:05pm

Tony Smith has been appointed as Hull FC’s new head coach

Tony Smith is crossing Hull’s rugby league divide after being appointed as the new head coach of Hull FC.

The 55-year-old was most recently in charge of the Black and Whites’ cross-city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers, leaving them in July after three years at the helm – having previously announced he would be stepping down at the Robins at the end of the 2022 Betfred Super League season.

But he will now be swapping the east of the city for the west after being announced as Hull FC’s new boss in the wake of the departure of Brett Hodgson on Monday, with the Australian leaving after a disappointing year which saw them finish ninth in the table.

“It’s a great opportunity – one that I wasn’t expecting so soon, but I’m very grateful and excited to get started,” Smith, whose older brother Brian also played for Hull FC from 1988 to 1990, said.

“I understand the challenges ahead, but the overwhelming feeling for me at the moment is excitement about restoring some pride in the club and taking us to some greater heights.

“In the past, I’ve had an association with the club through my family, and having lived in the city for a while, I’ve got a great understanding of how big the club is, and how much passion there is for the club to be successful.

“I’m looking forward to playing a part in the club’s great history, and hopefully we can create some more great memories for the future. I can’t wait to get started.”

Brett Hodgson left his role as Hull FC head coach on Monday

Brett Hodgson left his role as Hull FC head coach on Monday

Smith’s time in charge at Hull KR saw him guide the club to within 80 minutes of a Super League Grand Final appearance in 2021, having taken over with them battling to avoid relegation two years prior. This season saw him pass the milestone of 500 Super League games as a head coach too.

Having had a short spell playing for Workington Town in the inaugural Super League season in 1996, Smith got his start as a coach in the competition with Huddersfield Giants in 2001 and moved onto Leeds Rhinos three years later.

His time at Headingley saw him guide the Rhinos to Grand Final triumphs in 2004 and 2007 as well as victory over Canterbury Bulldogs in the 2005 World Club Challenge, before moving up to the international stage by taking charge of the Great Britain and then England teams.

Smith also had a spell in charge of Warrington Wolves from 2009 to 2017, winning the Challenge Cup on three occasions and guiding the Wolves to three Grand Final appearances and winning the League Leaders’ Shield twice.

Tony Smith spent three years in charge at Hull KR

Tony Smith spent three years in charge at Hull KR

He will start his role with Hull FC on Monday ahead of pre-season training commencing in November and further additions to his coaching staff will be confirmed in due course.

“We are pleased to welcome Tony to the club, a coach of undoubted calibre and experience with proven success in Super League,” Hull FC chairman Adam Pearson said.

“We have identified areas we feel we need to improve within our first-team environment and we believe Tony is well suited for that challenge.

“We are confident he will compliment the hard-working and passionate people already at our club that are determined to return Hull FC to the position we believe it should be, and to meet the standards expected by our supporters and stakeholders.

“Tony is excited about the opportunity and the long-term vision we have for the club, we’re looking forward to getting to work with him.”

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