Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and Wigan Warriors' Super League rivals sack head coach

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Former Leeds Rhinos boss Tony Smith has left Hull FC after a tough start to the Super League season

Hull FC have parted company with former Leeds Rhinos head coach Tony Smith after just one win in seven Super League games and with the Black and Whites already out of the Challenge Cup.

The East Yorkshire outfit are only kept off the bottom of the table by winless London Broncos, with Smith’s only victory this season coming in a narrow 28-24 triumph over the division’s basement side at the beginning of March. They were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Huddersfield Giants on March 23, losing 50-6 in West Yorkshire.

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Hull have conceded more than 20 points in each of their eight outings in all competitions this season and started the campaign with a 22-0 loss to local rivals Hull KR. On three occasions they have shipped 50 or more points, including a 54-4 defeat to Leigh Leopards which represented the Greater Manchester club’s only league win this campaign. Assistant coach Simon Grix and head of emerging talent Francis Cummins have been appointed to take charge on an interim basis, with Smith having spent 18 months at the helm.

Hull FC Chairman, Adam Pearson, said: “On behalf of everyone associated with Hull FC, I would like to thank Tony and Stan for their contribution to the club during their time with the first team. They have worked tirelessly and it is disappointing to have had to come to this decision, but it is one I feel is right at this time. I wish them both well for the future. There will be further restructuring of the club in the coming days and we will update further in due course.”

Smith, added: “I want to wish the club and all of the players well for the future. It is disappointing not to see the job through which was always going to be a challenging project and I was relishing the opportunity to see it through. I wish everyone at the club the best for the future.”

Smith spent four seasons in charge of Leeds between 2004 and 2007, winning Super League titles in 2004 and 2007 as well as the World Club Challenge in 2005. They also reached the Super League Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final in the 2005 season but lost both games to Bradford Bulls and Hull FC, respectively.

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