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Rovers appoint new head coach

Hull Kingston Rovers have appointed Tony Smith as the club’s new head coach, initially until the end of the 2019 campaign.

The 52-year-old – twice a Grand Final and Challenge Cup winner with Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves respectively – arrives at KCOM Craven Park with immediate effect, and is given a clear brief of helping the club climb the Super League ladder.

18 months on from his last role with the Wolves, ex-Great Britain and England coach Smith, who also lifted the World Club Challenge with the Rhinos, is ready to return to the English game to guide the Robins until the campaign’s climax.

The club have acted quickly to appoint Smith, who told Hull KR TV: “It’s a great opportunity for myself to get back in and start coaching again. I’ve had a good break and I’m very excited to be working with the talent available at Rovers.

“I’m keen to get on board with the players and understand where they’re at and see where I can help them. It’s been a whirlwind couple of days for myself, but I’m very excited about the opportunity.

“I want to help the players to be as good as they can be both individually and as a team. I want to instil some confidence in areas where it’s needed and practice in those areas too. With the talent available, there’s a good, strong chance of climbing the ladder to a place which is far greater to where we are at this moment. I’m looking forward to that journey and development of players. 

“I’ve had a lot of experience over the years at all the clubs that I’ve been at, where they haven’t been in ideal situations when I’ve taken over. They ended up in strong positions once I left and I look forward to doing exactly that in this period of time.

“There’s a lot of players that I admire within the team, what they do, but it’s now up to me to get the best out of them, as well as getting the best out of one another. That’s what a team is about. 

“I want to get the boys in a position where they’re proud of what they’re producing and I think we can do that quickly.”