“He asked me to leave my wife”

Nick Scruton has revealed ex-Wakefield head coach Brian Smith told him to leave his wife and kids in order to improve his rugby.

Scruton, who retired from rugby league last month, played under Smith at Trinity for 10 months in 2015 and 2016.

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The older brother of current Hull KR head coach Tony Smith, Brian has often been recognised for his eccentric coaching style and that was clearly evident during his short spell in charge at Belle Vue.

“I had surgery the year before so I had missed most of pre-season,” Scruton told BBC Radio Leeds. “In the first two games I didn’t do any thing wrong, but I just didn’t do anything really good.

“So he (Brian Smith) pulled me after two games and said I want a meeting with you at Costa. So we sat down and had a load of chit-chat and I thought, where is this going here? He was just waffling on.

“He said right, I know what you need to do… Leave your wife and kids. He said I know it’s a bit out there but I know people who’ve done it and it has improved their rugby massively.

“So I said to him that I want to make it clear that I’m not going to be leaving my wife and my two kids. I’m happy with my family.”

Incredibly, Scruton’s wife actually worked as Smith’s PA at the time with the former England prop joking: “It might have come from her. She might have been feeding him the ideas.”

A few games later Smith resigned as Wakefield boss after a difficult start to the 2016 season.

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