Smith honoured to land England role

England’s newly-appointed Performance Adviser Brian Smith today spoke of the honour he felt at being asked to work alongside new England Head Coach Steve McNamara in this year’s Four Nations.

Smith, the current Sydney Roosters coach, is one of the most respected figures in Rugby League and has agreed to lend his vast experience to his long-standing friend for 2010.

McNamara was signed as a junior for Hull FC by Smith in 1989 and was one of the Australian’s big-name signings at Bradford Bulls in 1996. The two also worked together for a brief spell when McNamara was appointed Head Coach of Bradford in 2006.

“I have known Steve for most of his Rugby League career and been an influence throughout most of his adult life and was delighted when he asked if I would be prepared to help,” said Smith, the older brother of former England Head Coach and current Warrington Wolves Head Coach Tony Smith.

“Working with England is not something I ever saw myself doing but I feel honoured to be involved.

“My first goal is to bring whatever Steve McNamara requires of me – if I have it – and help him with the day-to-day aspects of coaching.

“I’ll also be updating Steve with the general trends in coaching Down Under and keeping him informed about the players in Australia and New Zealand.

“I have spoken with (ARL Chairman) Colin Love and my own chief executive at the Roosters about my role and they’re happy for it to go ahead.

“It’s a very similar role to the one Wayne Bennett had with New Zealand a couple of years ago.

“I don’t see any compromise. We Aussies love to win and we never want to see Australia lose but we also want international Rugby League to grow and prosper.

“Hopefully my presence in the England coaching team will help that happen.

“Although I haven’t coached over there since 1996 I feel a strong bond with England. My daughter was born in Hull – she’s 20 now and I still call her ‘My English Rose’ – and of course I still have family over there.

“This opportunity is just wonderful for me, I am really proud to be involved.”

Smith will have regular dialogue with McNamara and the rest of his coaching team before joining up with England for the first time when they fly to New Zealand after the Engage Super League Grand Final in early October.

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