Tony Smith is one of the most sought-after head coaches in rugby league.
Having enjoyed spells at the Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Hull KR, Smith is now without a job but has been heavily linked with a huge move to Hull FC.
However, Smith may never have had transformed Rovers had he accepted a role at one his former teams that he was offered back in 2019 – to go back to Leeds.
“With Tony, he’s not a coach that needs the job, he is a coach that was offered the Leeds job prior to the Hull KR job and turned it down,” former Hull FC and Hull KR star Paul Cooke said on BBC Radio Humberside.
“For whatever reason, he decides that Hull KR is the right fit for him. It was a club that needed a lift and the challenge is there for lifting a club up and seeing a positive change in that time at the club.
“There is no right or wrong way to move on. We don’t know what it is, it is all very dignified, no one has gone out on a public forum, Tony hasn’t slagged anyone and neither has the club.
“Whilst it hasn’t ended in the best of circumstances we all move forward.”
For now, Smith’s future has not been announced but it would be an incredible move if the Australian gets the job at the MKM Stadium following his three-year tenure at bitter rivals Hull KR.
One of the most respected coaches in the game, Smith has transformed every club that he has been given the role at, winning multiple trophies as well as numerous friends on his way to the top.
For Hull, the next coaching appointment is arguably the biggest in the club’s recent history given how it ended with Brett Hodgson.