In Leeds Rhinos’ first home game of the season, they will play host to a familiar face.
Hull FC will be lead for only the second time in Super League by new boss Tony Smith.
Smith started Leeds’ Golden Generation when they won the 2004 Grand Final in his first season in charge having won the League Leaders’ Shield. They went on to win the World Club Challenge in 2005 and a second Grand Final in 2007.
This is not the first time Smith has returned to Headingley, that was in a thriller in 2009 between Leeds and Warrington Wolves. Since then he has also returned as Hull KR boss.
However, this time the game might mean a little more as he comes up against his nephew and current Leeds boss Rohan Smith who guided Leeds to the Grand Final last year after taking over in May.
The two have met before, oddly when Tony was Leeds boss.
In fact, the then Rhinos boss once “consoled” – to use Bill Arthur’s words for Sky Sports at the time – his Nephew after Leeds defeated Harlequins 60-0 in 2006 when Rohan was working alongside another future Leeds boss in Brian McDermott.
After the game, Tony revealed what he said to Rohan and what he would say to Harlequins after a crushing defeat in which Danny McGuire scored four tries.
When asked by Bill Arthur of Sky Sports what he would say to Rohan and the London side, Tony replied:
“That we all go through these things at times and it’s really important that you handle it the right way with dignity and keep working and I’m sure they will as well.
“It makes you appreciate the good times more when you have had those experiences. You’ve just got to walk tall.”
He would also praise his side for nilling the home side:
“Yeah, I think we had a lot of determination and we defended pretty well. The players spoke about it at halftime, that meant as much to them as probably the points scored. But you have to feel for Harlequins, they’re going through a tough period at the moment.
“As a rugby league lover, I don’t like to see those scores.”
You can watch the full game here and this moment appears at the end: