It’s been the worst kept secret in rugby league for the last few days, and now the news is out.
Tony Smith, just months after leaving Hull KR, will coach Hull FC in 2023 and beyond in amazing news to wake up to this morning.
It now means has coached five of the teams currently in Super League as he continues to make his mark on the competition. It also means we could see a family feud when his side take on his nephew Rohan Smith’s Leeds Rhinos.
In a statement on their club website this morning, Hull FC said:
“Hull FC have announced the appointment of Tony Smith as the club’s new head coach.
“The former Huddersfield, Leeds, Warrington, and Hull KR head coach joins the club with immediate effect ahead of the club’s pre-season schedule getting underway in the Autumn.
“One of the most experienced coaches in the sport, Smith has amassed over 500 career games as a head coach in the UK, and comes to the Black & Whites with a history of success over the last two decades.
“After finishing a nine-year playing career with Workington Town, having enjoyed spells down under with the Illawarra Steelers and the St George Dragons, Smith took on his first coaching role in 2001 with Huddersfield Giants, before making the move to Yorkshire rivals Leeds in 2004.
“Smith enjoyed four seasons of success with the Rhinos, leading the side to Grand Final victories in 2004 and 2007, as well as the 2005 World Club Challenge title as Leeds defeated Canterbury at Elland Road – he also picked up runners-up medals with defeats in the 2005 Grand Final, and Challenge Cup Final to the Black & Whites in Cardiff.
“His success at Headingley saw him pick up the 2005 Super League Coach of the year Award, and subsequently made the move to the international scene at the end of the 2007 season by becoming the Great Britain head coach.
“He was named the RLIF Coach of the Year before leading England to the semi-finals of the 2008 World Cup.
“Moving onto Warrington in 2009, his success continued in his nine-year spell with the club, leading the Wolves to Challenge Cup successes in 2009, 2010, and 2012, as well as a League Leaders Shield in 2011.
“Smith led the Wire to multiple more finals, including Grand Final appearances in 2012, 2013, and 2016, as well as the 2016 Challenge Cup Final against the Black & Whites – Smith would collect a second League Leaders Shield in the same season.
“His most recent coaching spell came in the East of the city, taking over the reigns at Hull KR in 2019, leading the side to the Super League semi-finals the following season.
“He surpassed the 500 game milestone earlier this season, before departing the Robins in the summer.”