Smith follows in father’s footsteps as new coach of Bradford Bulls

Larne Patrick, seen in action for 
Huddersfield Giants, hopes to have the desired impact while on loan at Castleford Tigers.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Larne Patrick, seen in action for Huddersfield Giants, hopes to have the desired impact while on loan at Castleford Tigers. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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BRADFORD Bulls have appointed Gold Coast Titans assistant Rohan Smith as their new head coach following glowing references from “some of the greatest rugby league minds” of past and present.

Bulls managing director Steve Ferres is delighted at being able to secure the Australian’s services on a three-year deal as replacement for James Lowes who quit last month.

Rohan Smith - new Bradford Bulls coach

Rohan Smith - new Bradford Bulls coach

The 35-year-old is the son of veteran Brian Smith, who was in charge at Odsal at the start of Super League in 1996 and, more recently, Wakefield Trinity.

Despite his young age, Smith junior already has a wealth of experience given he started coaching when aged just 22 and has operated in various roles with NRL clubs Penrith Panthers, Newcastle Knights, Sydney Roosters and New Zealand Warriors.

He was also Tonga’s national coach in 2009, has worked with the Kiwis and first coached in the UK as London Broncos assistant as far back as 2004.

Smith has been in charge of the Titans’ defensive department latterly and, charged with trying to secure Bradford a return to the top-flight this term, said: “I cannot wait to get over to England.

“I’ve had a long affinity with the Bulls since 1996 at the beginning of the Super League with my dad and it was great to be a part of it watching on from the stands.

“I was fortunate enough to start coaching at a young age and my path has been a bit different to the path which most coaches take. I have worked with some great coaches during my career; Trent Robinson, Matthew Elliott, Daniel Anderson, Jason Taylor, Rick Stone, and recently Neil Henry and Terry Matterson.

“This position I feel is something I have worked hard for and I’m ready to take it on.”

Bradford are currently third and Ferres says Smith can “carve out his own legacy” at Odsal.

“Rohan is a young coach with an incredible amount of energy and desire to drive this club’s performance department,” he said.

“He joins us on the back of a raft of testimonials from some of the greatest rugby league minds in the game both from past and present NRL coaches. Rohan has an in-depth knowledge of every aspect of the game and we are delighted he has joined us.”

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