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Tony Smith questions Super League clubs without an academy who sign overseas players

Hull FC coach Tony Smith

Hull FC boss Tony Smith has been very vocal during the build-up to England’s mid-season Test Match against France.

Smith is Sky Sports’ special guest for the game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and always he has not been shy in sharing his opinions.

Questioned about how the international game can grow in the Northern Hemisphere, Smith says it is England’s responsibility to help improve France and other European teams.

“I think Shaun (Wane) has made the right decision in playing the young players, and it’s just vital that these international games continue to happen.

“For France to improve they need to play England and play their young players too. I think England have a responsibility to improve the Northern Hemisphere and the international game here.

“We know the NRL clubs would not allow all their top players to leave, so let’s keep playing these games and continue to allow young players to play at this level and improve.”

Smith also questioned Super League’s approach to improving the international game and those clubs in the top tier who don’t have an academy in place but continue to sign overseas players.

“I think we are all responsible to help the game internationally. Super League clubs, coaches and those at the top need to help create a better strategy.

“To do that we need to promote the young people in our sport. There are Super League clubs that still don’t have an academy.

“The same clubs are spending money every season signing overseas players and are putting no money into growing the sport and their club from within.

“At the moment we’re just looking for a one-off and for things just falling into place, but that won’t happen without a strategy from club and country.”

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