Tony Smith on ‘first class’ gesture from Hull FC

Tony Smith has praised Hull FC for stepping in to play Leeds Rhinos less than 24 hours before the game.

The Black and Whites came forward on Wednesday after Castleford confirmed they were unable to field a team for their proposed fixture against the Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday night.

Speaking about the commendable actions of Hull KR’s great rivals, Smith said: “I am sure everybody appreciates what Hull FC are doing and the consultation and the manner in how it was all handled was all first class.

“If that was the case then it is brilliant. If we were in this situation, we would have absolutely responded in the same manner.

“As long as things are done respectfully in the right manner and context then we would have definitely stepped in.”

The struggles at Castleford have caused concerns among the rugby league community that the season may struggle to finish with the Tigers not the only team to have a depleted squad.

Despite this, Smith is still confident all clubs will be able to fulfil their fixtures ahead of the play-offs in late November.

“Nobody can be sure that a similar incident that has happened with Castleford will happen again,” said the Robins head coach.

“I have said all along after the first couple of cases that we had and where we had people look down their noses at others with criticism thrown around, it is in society and we are part of society.

“It is going to come into our clubs, households environments and it is going to happen.

“What we are hoping to be able to do is to minimise the effect it will have on each person firstly, in terms of health, but also then the clubs.

“We will fulfil all the fixtures that we can in order to get this league done and across the line and as good as it can be along the way.”

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