England to unveil coaching team of McNamara and Smith next week

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The Independent Online

The tying up of loose ends will prevent any announcement this week, but the League has the England coaching team it wants for this autumn's Four Nations. Bradford's Steve McNamara will be the coach, with Brian Smith at his shoulder in a consultancy role.

Smith coached McNamara at both Hull and Bradford and is the elder brother of Tony Smith, who stood down as England coach after last year's Four Nations.

The Australian now coaches the Sydney Roosters and securing a short-term release from them will have been one of the factors that has delayed finalising the deal. It is now likely to be announced officially next Wednesday. Smith's role is seen as similar to that of the equally experienced Wayne Bennett with the World Cup-winning New Zealand side in 2008 and his long connection with McNamara gives the arrangement a solid foundation.

Bradford have indicated that, if McNamara is to leave, they would prefer him to stay until the end of the Super League season.