Tony Smith backs World Cup postponement

Hull Kingston Rovers coach Tony Smith has backed last week’s decision to postpone the World Cup until 2022, following the withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand two weeks earlier.

“I think it’s sensible,” said Smith, who coached England in the 2008 World Cup in Australia.

“With the current situation and where we are at, I think it’s the smart thing to do. With them being so isolated and away from so many transmissions, if it (the virus) were still floating around as much as it is now (during the tournament), that would make them very vulnerable.

“It doesn’t matter how many precautions you take, if you are in close contact with others you are bound to pick it up.

“Imagine if we had to postpone a game in the World Cup as we have had to in Super League. There would be embarrassment if that happened.”

Smith is optimistic, however, that the number of Super League matches being postponed for Covid reasons will now begin to decline.

“Most teams have already been affected by it substantially,” he added.

“But I think it will be smoother waters now in terms of getting through games.”

Meanwhile Smith has paid tribute to his fullback Adam Quinlan, whose contract expires this year and who is likely to have played his last game for the club because of a shoulder injury.

“Quinny’s current career at Hull KR looks to be over,” said Smith

“That is sad, because he is someone I’ve admired and respect and like.

“But it got so the stage where it isn’t healthy for him to carry on playing and he will have an operation on Wednesday.”

Smith also gave an update on other injuries in the club.

“Jordan Abdull is five weeks maximum, but I reckon he will be back before then. He will come back even stronger and fitter.

“Will Dagger strained his quad muscle in warm-up to play for Featherstone; he’ll be out for around five weeks.

“Ethan Ryan in the next couple of weeks. His wrist seems to have healed well, but he needs to go through some contact drills and physical tests.”

Smith also paid tribute to former Hull KR winger Ged Dunn, who died recently after a long illness.

“Ged was here not long ago to present Ethan’s debut jersey and he passed on some kind words to Ethan.

“He was an articulate, very thoughtful and humble man, who felt honoured to come and present the jersey.

“If Ethan can go on to do some of the things that Ged did, then he will be a very lucky man.”

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