This Friday sees a unique game as Rohan Smith and his Leeds Rhinos side play host to his uncle Tony Smith’s Hull FC side who in turn returns to Headingley with a third different club since leaving the club at the end of 2007.
This family battle will be talked about a lot by pundits and the like but according to Rohan Smith, it is not a focus for him and his uncle.
“Not in the slightest,” he said when asked if it will add something to the game.
“We have spoken about in the past, but not this week, it is Leeds against Hull and maybe after the game we will take a moment to reflect but it plays no bearing in the prep.
“We can go weeks without exchanging messages so I can’t imagine he will check in to see how I’m going this week.”
When asked who his dad and Tony’s brother Brian Smith will be rooting for, he said:
“I haven’t spoken to Dad this week, he will be able to watch the game and be proud of his efforts to get both of us to get these opportunities.
“I am just getting started and Tony is second to none in what he has done in this competition.”
Meanwhile, Smith said that Tony hasn’t had a direct influence on his coaching style:
“None I don’t think directly. Tony and I haven’t really spent much time in each other’s company. He was over here when I was a teenager at home and he stayed here.
“We have crossed paves a bit and spoken on the phone but we have been influenced by the same coaches with my father and lots of other that have come from his coaching career.
“Some guys that I coached that Tony has coached have said we have done some things similar but some different.”
That said, he did admit that he has asked for advice in the past:
“We don’t talk much about footy when we do talk. He is my uncle so he looks out for me. We’re on the same journey but at different stages.
“We don’t talk much footy but I have asked him for advice in the past.”