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Smith to depart the ‘dwindling’ sport of Rugby League

Warrington head coach Tony Smith says he is unlikely to stay in Rugby League and believes the sport has become less attractive.

Smith, who will leave the Wolves after nine years at the end of this season, has questioned whether the sport is being promoted properly.

“The game is becoming less attractive,” he told BBC Radio Manchester. “But that is my vibe on it. I am not bitter because I am finishing at Warrington, I’ve felt like this for a few years now.”

“I’m not sure that we are growing much as a sport. We are absolutely [detracting]. I think the sport is dwindling and we need some freshness and excitement about the way we promote it.”

The 50-year-old says his opinion is shared by many, with the standard and structure of Super League coming under heavy criticism throughout the season.

“I wouldn’t be excited about jumping into anything in rugby league just at the moment, but I’d love to see some changes before I could get excited about the game as a whole,” Smith added.

“There’s a lot of people out there that are feeling that way about our sport.”

Warrington travel to Featherstone on Saturday before hosting Hull KR a week later in Smith’s final game in charge of the club.



  1. Francis Clossick

    September 14, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    a bitter and twisted man, more interested in off field stuff (fluff) i here

  2. Ann Tudor

    September 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    A man who see’s the game as it really is, If we carry on hiding our head in the sands the game will carry on going backward, Time for change before it is too late,

  3. Konkrete Kelvin

    September 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Internationally, the game is developing – with the game now played in all kinds of odd places in Europe – I even recently saw a woman’s rugby league game in Canada. Is one of the problems in the UK that there is less RL on free TV now then there was back in the 70s even – when it was a regular on Grandstand and Sportsnight? With subscriptions to cable/satellite TV now falling, where will RL end up?

    On the field, I would like to see more variation in the game. I have long argued for lineouts to be introduced where a player is bundled into touch or the ball is knocked into touch by the defending team – that would add a new dimension

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