Smith quashes Wolves rumours

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The England coach, Tony Smith, has dismissed reports that he is set to take over at Warrington after this year’s World Cup.

Smith has been linked with a return to club coaching with the Wolves, who have been without a full-time coach since the resignation of Paul Cullen, but was unequivocal yesterday in saying: “It’s absolute rubbish.

“I’ve got a job for the next two years, and that’s where my commitment lies.”

Smith was speaking at the launch of the England team that supersedes Great Britain for most purposes from this season onwards.

England have two games, against France and Wales, before the World Cup in Australia, and Smith has confirmed that Jamie Peacock of Leeds will be the captain in the first of them, in Toulouse next Friday.

Peacock captained Great Britain successfully against New Zealand in this series last autumn, but said that he had taken nothing for granted.

“Adrian Morley captained Great Britain against France last time and has been playing really well for Warrington,” he said.

“This is my opportunity to put my foot in the door for the World Cup, and I really want to captain my country there.”

Smith will announce his 19-man squad for Toulouse next Monday, and says that he will be resting nobody and fielding his strongest possible side.

“I want to see players play with each other who could be part of the World Cup,” he said.

“There’s going to be some disappointed players, but if anyone’s left out, it’s because we can’t fit them in.”

One player who is virtually certain to be involved, however, is Leeds’s 32-year-old centre, Keith Senior.

Senior hinted last year at the possibility of retiring from international rugby, but has recently confirmed his availability.

“As far as I was concerned, he had not retired from international rugby,” said Smith, who coached Senior at Leeds and will certainly have him in mind for the World Cup and for the Test in France.

Two Huddersfield players have been charged in the aftermath of their stormy game at Wakefield on Sunday.

Kevin Brown will face a charge of a dangerous throw on the Wildcats’ Danny Brough, whilst Luke Robinson will be charged with foul and abusive language to the referee, for which he was sent off.

Widnes have signed the St Helens half-back, Matty Smith, initially on a month’s loan, with an option until the end of the season.