Championship clubs should feel ‘aggrieved’ if Toronto are readmitted into Super League, says Tony Smith

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith thinks that the Super League should consider other candidates to be the competition’s 12th club next season.

Toronto dropped out of Super League in July citing ‘overwhelming financial problems’, with a decision on their possible readmission to be made in four weeks after their new owners were given more time.

The Wolfpack’s position has split Super League and Hull KR are reportedly one of the clubs who have voting against their return in 2021, with Smith believing Championship sides should be considered.

“It is for others to work out but I think there are some difficulties in deciding who that (the 12th team) would be,” Smith said.

“If you were one of the clubs who missed out and you had been investing heavily in trying to get into Super League, I think you would feel a bit aggrieved if you were not the one chosen.

“Depending on how they set the criteria of who is chosen to be that 12th team, I would certainly be upset if I was one of those clubs.

“When you see a team like Toronto who have had their financial issues, if they were rubber stamped to the hand of clubs who have been fighting really hard for a number of years to get into Super League and been doing everything right, you would feel a bit aggrieved if you were one of those as well.

“I think they have some very big decisions to make in rugby league and hopefully they will make the right ones, fingers crossed.”

Earlier this week, it was also confirmed that the Coral Challenge Cup Final would take place behind closed doors for the first time in its history.

The Robins are no longer in the competition, however Smith believes it would have been possible, even under the current restrictions, to have some fans attend the showpiece game next month.

“I would love the Challenge Cup Final to have fans there,” he said. “It would be nice to find some sort of social distancing within our stadiums.

“If we are allowing people into pubs until 10pm, I think, surely in this day and age, we can find a way to get some people distanced in big stadiums that does not put a risk to each other or the people around.

“I would love them to work that out soon. It is a bit confusing for all of us out there and I think everybody is trying to do all of the right things and we certainly try as a group of players and staff to try and jump through a whole heap of hoops.

“It would be nice to have a reward of crowds at some stage. A reward for all the people out there that are supporting us and sticking by us.

“I would love supporters for each of the clubs to get some rewards for their loyalty towards their team. The sooner that comes the better.

“We are not hearing good things at the moment but hopefully, that will turn around soon.”