Tony Smith (rugby league b. 1967)

Tony Smith (rugby league b. 1967)

Football player infobox| playername= Tony Smith
fullname = Tony Smith


dateofbirth = Birth date and age|1967|1|24
cityofbirth = Lismore, New South Wales
countryofbirth = Australia
nickname =
height =
currentclub = Great Britain
youthclubs =
youthyears =
years =
clubs =
caps(goals) =
nationalyears =
nationalteam =
nationalcaps(goals) =
manageryears =
2001-03
2003-07
2007-
managerclubs = Adelaide Rams Assistant
Parramatta Eels Assistant
Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos
Great Britain
pcupdate =
ntupdate =

Tony Smith (born 24 January, 1967 in Lismore, New South Wales) is a British-Australian former rugby league player and is now the head coach of the Great Britain national rugby league team. He is the younger brother of fellow rugby league coach, Brian Smith.

Career

Tony Smith played rugby league with the Illawarra Steelers, for whom he made 37 appearances and scored 9 tries, as well as the St. George Dragons for whom he played 28 games, including the 1992 Grand Final. Tony finished his playing career in 1996 with a spell at Workington in Super League.

Smith impressed as coach of Huddersfield Giants, leading the Yorkshire club back into Super League, after suffering relegation in his first season at the McAlpine Stadium.

Rhinos

The Australian was appointed by the Rhinos in a surprise move in November 2003 as the club decided to move incumbent Daryl Powell into an upstairs role for two years from the start of the 2004 season.

He guided Leeds to their first Championship in 32 years in 2004 and the Rhinos went on to beat the Canterbury Bulldogs in the 2005 World Club Challenge at Elland Road. Later that year they suffered an unexpected defeat to Hull FC in the Challenge Cup Final and were edged out by the Bradford Bulls in the 2005 Grand Final. Smith signed a contract extension to the end of the 2006 season.

The Rhinos failed to win a trophy in the 2006 season, suffering defeat at the Semi-Final stage of the Challenge Cup and losing out to Warrington in week one of the play-offs.

However, in the 2006-2007 season, he managed to sign the Kiwi full-back of the year 2006 Brent Webb, and started the league campaign strongly. With great last gasp wins over the Bradford Bulls at both Odsall and in The Millennium Magic, and two victories over saints, Leeds finished 2nd. They narrowly lost in a brutal game 10-8 at Saints, but beat Wigan to ensure their place in the final. On the 13th October 2007, Leeds Rhinos beat Saint Helens 33-6 to become Super League champions, giving Tony Smith the perfect send off. Tony Smith worked wonders at Leeds Rhinos, and both the players and fans will greatly miss his presence

Great Britain

Smith has been announced as the successor Brian Noble to become the full-time coach of Great Britain. He will see out his Leeds contract until the end of the 2007 season and will combine the GB coaching role with that of performance director, heading up the Rugby Football League's technical department at Leeds Metropolitan University.

His first game in charge of Great Britain was the victory over France. The 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand followed starting with a 20-14 victory at Huddesfield, a 44-0 thrashing of the Kiwis in the 2nd test at Hull and a final test win at the JJB by 28 points to 22. Leeds Rhino players contributed hugely to these victories including Captain Jamie Peacock,half-backs Rob Burrow and Danny Mcguire, 2nd Row Gareth Ellis and centre Keith Senior. As this was the last test series as a Great Britain side on home soil. Smith will now lead the England side into the 2008 World Cup. Only overseas touring sides will use the Great Britain name.

England

Smith became a naturalized British citizen on 8 September 2008 at a ceremony in Huddersfield.

He has named his England training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.cite web|url=http://www.englandrl.co.uk/article.php?id=11890|title=Myler gets England call|publisher=England Rugby League|date=2008-09-29|accessdate=2008-10-03]

He has named his England squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7656553.stm|title=Purdham earns World Cup call-up|publisher=BBC|date=2008-10-07|accessdate=2008-10-07]

He has named his England team to face Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium prior to England's departure for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7642490.stm|title=Gleeson to lead new-look England|publisher=BBC|date=2008-10-09|accessdate=2008-10-10]

References

External links

* [http://www.yesterdayshero.com.au/PlayerProfile_Tony-Smith_7651.aspx Tony smith at yesterdayshero.com.au]
* [http://www.nrlstats.com/archive/players.cfm?PlayerID=312 Tony Smith at nrlstats.com]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/6494011.stm Smith takes up Great Britain job]
* [http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyleague/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rleague/07/03/26/RUGBYL_Britain_Smith.html LIONS TURN TO RHINOS BOSS SMITH]
* [http://www.skysports.com/skysports/article/0,,1-1257600,00.html RHINO SMITH CONFIRMED AS GB COACH]
* [http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=2178876&SectionID=89 Rhinos coach Smith exiting Headingley]
* [http://thisisleeds.co.uk/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=2178971&SectionID=46 Smith unveiled as GB coach]


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