Hull KR head coach Tony Smith to leave club at end of year

·2-min read

Tony Smith will leave his role as Hull KR head coach at the end of the season.

The 55-year-old Australian, who recently reached the milestone of 500 Super League games as a coach, is out of contract at the end of the campaign, having signed a three-year deal when he joined in 2019.

A post on the club’s Twitter feed read: “Hull KR can confirm Tony Smith will leave Hull KR at the end of the season. Statement to follow.”

Smith guided Rovers to the 2021 play-off semi-finals, where they were edged out by Catalans Dragons.

Hull KR sit sixth in the Betfred Super League and are through to the last four of the Challenge Cup, where they will face Huddersfield.

Smith made the surprise announcement at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

“Today I have made a decision about my future. I have just spoken to the players and the chairman. I won’t be coaching at Hull KR beyond the end of this year,” he said.

“I am going to step aside and hand it on to the next person to pick up the banner and carry it strongly.

“It saddens me to say it, but I think that it is the best thing for the organisation.

“I really have enjoyed coaching this special group of players and I love the support that I have been given here by all of the supporters, it’s been great.

“Before anyone asks, I’ve not got the job at Leeds, it won’t be me that is announced. There is no other job I am leaving for. It’s just a decision I’ve come to.

“I haven’t been in negotiations, we’ve not been talking about money issues, it’s just the right thing to do and the right time to announce it.”

Smith, who guided Leeds to the Super League title in 2004 and 2007 and also won three Challenge Cups with Warrington, added: “It gives the club an opportunity to get out there and find the right and suitable replacement.

“The players deserve the best they can get and it also gives me a chance to look for my next venture, wherever that may be.”

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