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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 15:54 GMT
Smith to become British citizen
Lions coach Tony Smith
Smith has lived in England for the last eight years
England coach Tony Smith will become a British citizen when he returns from a trip to Australia to check on facilities for this year's World Cup.

The Australian has lived in Britain for eight years and must take a citizenship test and pledge an oath of loyalty.

"I'm going to get it done as soon as I get back and become a true Pom - or as close to a true Pom as I can," he said.

"You have to hand your passport over for up to six months. That's part of the reason for going to Australia now."

Smith and new England manager Graeme Thompson will visit Townsville, Melbourne and Newcastle, the venues for the group matches in the World Cup, which starts on 25 October.


"We're going to finalise the hotels and training venues. We don't want to leave anything to chance," he said.

"I want to make sure the hotels are of adequate standard and within reasonable travelling distance to training venues because the preparation for each game is going to be enormous.

"Being in a different city each week, basically for the time we're there, there are a lot of things we need to make sure are right before we get there so players know what to expect.

"We'll be in Australia 10 days before the game and our research tells us that you are able to overcome jet lag and acclimatise yourselves in that period of time."

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