Brian Smith to coach USA at World Cup

The USA have confirmed the appointment of Brian Smith as their head coach for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

The 59-year-old replaces Matt Elliott, who has stepped down due to his commitments with NRL club New Zealand Warriors.

Smith has coached St George Dragons, Parramatta Eels, Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters in the NRL, as well as Hull and Bradford in the UK.

He said: “The potential for the game in America is enormous. American people go nuts over rugby league.

“Matt Elliott has been fantastic for the Tomahawks and I just want to dovetail on the back of that.

“I have had long running connections to the game in America, beginning with a great friendship with Mike Mayer, who was one of the men who introduced the game to the USA in the 1970’s.

“I have been to America many times and I always take videos with me and when you actually sit down and explain the strategy they truly embrace and understand it.”

Smith last coached the Sydney Roosters, taking them to the 2010 NRL Grand Final against the St George-Illawarra Dragons.

The Tomahawks will be venturing to the UK and Wales in October to take part in their first ever Rugby League World Cup.

They are currently ranked 10th in the world.

Elliott said his time with the Tomahawks was a major highlight in his career.

“It was just a great time with great people and I’m delighted for Brian because he will be able to put in the time to that group that I couldn’t of late,” Elliott said.

“Smithy is a great appointment. Doing what I could to help the game grow was a great part of my life beginning in 2007.”

The Tomahawks squad will contain a mix of domestic and overseas-based players, including NRL players Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels) and Clint Newton (Penrith Panthers).

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