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Tony Smith to Dragons? - Gateaux - 05-31-2014 05:31 PM

Tony Smith could follow in the footsteps of brother Brian after he was sounded out to coach the Dragons next year.

St George Illawarra powerbrokers first got in contact with Smith about taking over as coach in January, which effectively meant Steve Price was a dead man walking even before a ball had been kicked this season.

Lismore-born Smith, 47, a former Great Britain mentor, is enjoying success with Super League club Warrington after stints with Huddersford and Leeds. He guided the Rhinos to a win at his first season at the club and the Wolves, in fifth spot on this season's table, have been a consistent performer during his tenure.

Smith has an affinity with the joint-venture club, having played for both of its entities before they merged. A crafty five-eighth, he scored nine tries from 37 games for the Illawarra Steelers before notching 28 appearances, including the 1992 grand final, for St George under older brother Brian.

Should Smith accept the position, it would continue his family's long tradition with the Red V. Brian Smith coached 118 games between 1991 and 1995 and also held the clipboard at Illawarra for four seasons.

Those close to Smith report that he is happy with his lot at Warrington and it remains to be seen whether he would trade that in for the pressure of NRL coaching. However, Dragons officials hope the lure of returning to the famous club will be too strong.

The Dragons have elevated Paul McGregor from assistant to caretaker coach but he was reluctant to take the place of good friend Price. Officials earmarked Parramatta's Steve Murphy to fill the vacant assistant's role but it is understood he will be staying put.

Former Dragons back Joel Caine, Price's best mate, says the club could have made the finals had they stuck solid for the remainder of the season.

"I went and saw him after the Parramatta game, he hadn't been told but he pretty much knew that was it," Caine said.

"He was doing the video of the game and they had the bye, there was no real urgency for him to do it. I told him to let it go, that it wasn't going to help him when he could be spending time with the family.

"He said 'I'm employed to be the coach of this football club, as it stands right now that's what I am and I won't leave a stone unturned.' So he spent four hours watching the tape even though he knew that was probably it. That just shows what sort of bloke he is, he wanted to go to sleep at night knowing he had given it his all."

Caine said had St George Illawarra told Price he could see out the year, the result could have been akin to North Queensland making the play-offs after telling Neil Henry his contract wouldn't be renewed.

"No one has been under more pressure in the coaching game from the get-go," Caine said. "If they had stayed with him and he was able to coach with some closure and without any pressure. He could have marched them into the finals and left at the end of the year as a 36-year-old who turned the club around."

McGregor said he would continue to pick the brain of Price for the season.

"Definitely, we're still good friends and I hope that remains," he said. "He's a very smart man, he's a good coach. Things haven't gone his way."

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RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - Farmduck - 06-01-2014 11:54 AM

I guess Nathan Brown is the other option but would they go back to a coach they've already sacked once. To be fair to Brown, St George did make the finals in his last year and I don't think they would have dumped him if they hadn't already agreed to terms with Wayne Bennett.

There are a few potential AUS candidates: Laurie Daley probably wouldn't take it if NSW wins the Origin series this year. Trent Barrett has done a couple of seasons as Assistant at Penrith. Jason Taylor was Head Coach at Souths and is now Assistant at Easts. Craig Fitzgibbon has been an Assistant at Roosters since he left Hull and is a Wollongong boy who played for St George and Illawarra, although Paul Macgregor has a better coaching CV.

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - loosehead - 06-01-2014 05:29 PM

Just been on Sky news, Smith returning home this week, to be replaced by Agar. Press conference monday lunchtime.

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - Farmduck - 06-01-2014 05:36 PM

Leaving Wire immediately sure sounds like he's got the St George job set up. His brother just got hired to do a full review of Wests Tigers setup.

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - displaced_northener - 06-01-2014 05:44 PM

(06-01-2014 05:29 PM)loosehead Wrote:  Just been on Sky news, Smith returning home this week, to be replaced by Agar. Press conference monday lunchtime.

you jest surely?!?!

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - loosehead - 06-01-2014 05:56 PM

you jest surely?!?!


RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - displaced_northener - 06-01-2014 05:56 PM

sorry =)

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - loosehead - 06-01-2014 06:07 PM

Don't take much to get folks going on here, maybe start a rumour that Bradford are getting their points back, plus another 4 for the inconvenience. Be doing Wakefield a favour if that happened, straight down and rebuild.

Got to have a laugh now and again, makes life worth living.

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - MOT - 06-01-2014 06:10 PM

There's a rumour that you're a twat

Confirmed on sky sports news!

RE: Tony Smith to Dragons? - leeds79 - 06-01-2014 06:12 PM

Ha replaced by agar.... quality