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Tony Smith says England winning the World Cup would have changed nothing

Hull FC Head Coach Tony Smith

Hull FC head coach Tony Smith says nothing would have changed for rugby league in the Northern Hemisphere even if England would have won the World Cup last year.

Speaking in the build-up to the mid-season international against France, Smith believes an England World Cup win would only be temporary success for the sport on home soil.

“I don’t think it would have made any difference if I’m honest,” Smith said on Sky Sports. “We need to promote and improve the product on a domestic level first to grow the popularity of the sport in this country.

“Don’t get me wrong it would have been great exposure for the game if we had won the World Cup, but yeah great, then what?

“The problem is we don’t have a system in place yet. It would be a one-off win where we would have celebrated a bit, but it would have been forgotten quickly.

“Some people would be happy with temporary success, but there is no long-term strategy in place to be successful at international level.”

Smith elaborated by saying that Super League clubs and coaches need to look at the game as a whole, rather than focusing on self-interests when spending money.

“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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