Smith insists Lawler has what it takes

Hull KR coach Tony Smith reckons George Lawler provides the perfect model of an England Knights player.

The 25-year-old forward is among 27 members of the latest squad selected by Paul Anderson, who is in charge of the international feeder team.

Anderson had emphasised the main purpose of the Knights is to prepare players for the full England side.

And Smith, himself a former England and Great Britain coach, reckons Lawler has all the attributes required to go down that prestigious route.

Rovers’ longest-serving player has started all six of this season’s matches, the latest Saturday’s 50-26 Super League loss at Warrington, and he earned warm praise from his coach.

“I’m really pleased for George that he’s involved. He’s an excellent person and a terrific player, one of our more consistent over the last couple of seasons,” said Smith.

“He’s been very valuable this season, really good in many different ways. He’s had some long games, when we’ve asked him to stay on, and he’s responded well.

“That doesn’t really surprise me, because he’s always one to put his hand up and get the job done with minimum fuss and maximum enthusiasm.

“George catches the eye with the number of tackles he makes and his willingness to carry the ball in.

“He’s not the biggest forward going, but he is tough and handles most of the things that come his way.

“He’s a real hard worker and from a coach’s perspective, low maintenance. He is still developing and improving as a player, and I understand why he’s in the Knights squad.

“I think it will make him even hungrier to make step up to the full (England) team and that’s well within his capabilities over next year or two.”

Meanwhile Smith says prop Albert Vete should be over a hamstring injury by the time Rovers next play, away to Castleford on Monday, May 17.

Elimination from the Challenge Cup means a blank date coming up this weekend.

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