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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
Schofield unhappy at Smith role
Tony Smith
Smith will coach Great Britain full time from the end of the season
Former Great Britain captain Garry Schofield has criticised the decision to appoint Australian Tony Smith as the new Great Britain rugby league coach.

Leeds coach Smith, 40, will take up the post full time at the end of the season but Schofield is unhappy that a Briton was not offered the job.

"I'm not in favour of Australians taking the national job," Schofield told Five Live.

"We've tried it before and it's been a total failure."

Smith, the second Australian to coach Britain after David Waite, will become England coach for the 2008 World Cup, with the Lions set-up taking a back seat.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the post is not full time

Gary Schofield

But Schofield insists that the likes of Salford boss Karl Harrison, Warrington coach Paul Cullen or Wakefield's John Kear should have been approached after Wasps' assistant coach Shaun Edwards ruled himself out.

"Unless we start giving the English coaches the opportunity at the highest level we'll never know how good they are," said Schofield.

606: DEBATE

"Tony Smith hasn't proved himself, from my point of view, at the Rhinos. OK, they won the Grand Final in 2004 but since then the Rhinos have been going downhill and he has no experience whatsoever in handling international players.

"I don't think Tony Smith would have been offered the opportunity to coach the Rhinos after this season anyway so I think he's jumped ship and I think Richard Lewis [the Rugby Football League chief executive] has got it wrong."

Schofield was also sceptical as to whether the coach of Great Britain needed to be a full-time role. Smith replaces Brian Noble, who did the job on a part-time basis.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, with the seasons in Great Britain and in Australia running concurrent with each other, the post is not full time," he said.

Smith's first match in charge is set to be against France in June, and the Lions also have a three-Test series against New Zealand at the end of the season.



SEE ALSO
Smith takes up Great Britain job
26 Mar 07 |  Rugby League
Lions close to naming new coach
23 Mar 07 |  Rugby League
Edwards rules out GB coaching job
15 Mar 07 |  Rugby League
GB coach change forces Noble out
17 Jan 07 |  International
Noble named GB coach
06 May 04 |  Rugby League


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