Rugby League

Matty Smith hopes Steve McNamara stays with England after New Zealand series win

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Football News

Scrum-half Matty Smith wants the Rugby Football League to re-appoint England coach Steve McNamara after he masterminded a 2-1 series win over New Zealand.

McNamara's contract ran out after Saturday's 20-14 victory in the third and deciding Test which secured a first series triumph for eight years and, although he remains committed to Sydney Roosters for the next two years, he refused to clarify his intentions with England in the immediate aftermath of the match.

"We will sit down, assess it and look at it," said McNamara, who has been in charge since 2010, the last two years in a part-time capacity.

"These are the sort of things you deal with post-tournament, there is a process and I'm in no rush."

A Rugby Football League spokesman confirmed McNamara's position would be considered as part of a wide-ranging tournament review which was due to be held regardless of the outcome of the series but Smith, man of the match on his return to the England team, was quick to offer his support to the former Bradford boss.

"I'd like to see him stay on," Smith said. "I think he's done a fantastic job.

"I think he's been building something good over these last few years. I don't see a reason why we need to change the coach now when we had good World Cup - we just fell short, it could have gone either way - and t he Four Nations last year was the same.

" He's got a young squad and he's picked form players. We're building nicely. Everyone wants to play for him and we've won something this year. Why change it?"

Smith, left out by McNamara for the opening autumn international against France and the first two Tests against the Kiwis, justified his recall by producing a faultless kicking game in wet and windy conditions on his home ground at Wigan's DW Stadium.

"I finally got my chance and it was great to play, especially being at the DW," said Smith, who had not played since Wigan's Grand-Final defeat by Leeds five weeks ago.

"It was good it was a bit wet. If it had been dry and the sun had been out, I think I'd have been struggling a little bit. It slowed the game down and it probably helped me a lot that we could kick long. It works out good for me when it's like that.

"I just wanted to be part of something special. W e've not won anything for the last eight years and I think it was important for us to win and get our silverware, especially leading into a massive tournament next year and then the World Cup.

"We've come so close these last couple of years, it was important for us to get over the line. We have something to build on."

Smith got the nod over his Wigan half-back partner George Williams, a player seven years his junior who he expects to be snapping at his heels for England in 2016.

"George deserved his place, the way's he played for Wigan this year has been fantastic and I had no complaints about that," Smith added.

"He actually came up to me and said 'that's the way it is'. For a 21-year-old to do that just shows how much confidence he's got. He'll probably learn from this and he'll come back stronger.

"To be honest, he's England's future for me. He's going to be the bloke that pulls that shirt on for the next eight or 10 years.

"He's a great player. He came in for a lot of stick last week but it's tough to play at this level week in, week out. I think he'll keep proving next year with Wigan how good he is and he'll be here again."

Rugby League

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