Hull KR Coach Tony Smith Believes Returning Ryan Hall Is 'One Of England's Best'

Hall is in the England squad for the first time since 2018
13:00, 02 Mar 2022

Hull KR coach Tony Smith says Ryan Hall knows he’s still one of the world’s best wingers after the 34-year-old’s eyebrow-raising recall to the England side.

The nation’s all-time leading try-scorer is back in the mix for the first time since 2018, after being named in Shaun Wane’s first training squad ahead of this autumn’s home World Cup.

The selection reignites the possibility of a third World Cup appearance for the Rovers winger, who was given his professional debut by Smith 15 years ago at Leeds where he went on to win every major honour.

“He still believes he’s one of the best wingers in England and would have no reason to doubt it,” Smith tells The Sportsman.

“I don’t think he fears anybody else. I’m sure he’s got admiration for his rivals and opponents but I don’t think I have seen any facet of him start to doubt his own abilities or what he can contribute either to us or the national team.

“Sometimes you don’t get selected but then it’s down to how you respond.

“Credit to Ryan for working his way back into contention and credit to Shaun Wane for not writing him off. When you deserve it you get the call up.”

Hall is now the elder statesman of England’s elite squad, having made his name in the all-conquering Rhinos sides between 2007-18 before an injury-ravaged stint with Sydney in the NRL.

His return to Super League to join Rovers saw Hall reunited with his first coach, and Smith admits even he has been surprised to see the kind of player Hall has evolved into from the lanky winger he handed a Super League debut to 15 years ago.

“I didn’t see his physique in the way it is now. Wow he was lean and trim and now he’s still trim with no body fat but is built like the proverbial brick ****house!

“I probably didn’t see him developing into that but I did see him developing into a fantastic player, a top class player.

“He was an enthusiastic young man back then who listened and learned and applied and tried his best every week. When you apply that to the way you train, that’s when you get the big successes. But you need to have talent for that to happen too. He certainly brings the attitude to his performances and the way he prepares and approaches games.

“He’s been a real credit to watch and develop over the years and to be there from his first game at Leeds to where he currently is, if you think that makes you feel old it makes me feel ancient. 

“It’s been a pleasure to watch him and enjoy and admire. I have watched him for many years grow into a highly successful player that puts a lot of pride into his work and that pays off. You get rewarded for the hard work you put in, so he deserves it.”

Wane says Hall is back in the squad on merit, but also to help the younger players after naming seven new faces in his squad. “To have someone of Ryan’s experience and mindset is invaluable for the young players,” he said.

The squad will meet in mid-March with their next fixture in June against a Combined Nations All Stars side. They then play a warm-up match against Fiji in October before the serious stuff of the World Cup kicks off.

Suggested Searches:
The Sportsman
Manchester United
Manchester City
Premier League
Sportsman HQ
72-76 Cross St
Manchester M2 4JG
We will not ask you to provide any personal information when using The Sportsman website. You may see advertisement banners on the site, and if you choose to visit those websites, you will accept the terms and conditions and privacy policy applicable to those websites. The link below directs you to our Group Privacy Policy, and our Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at:

All original material is Copyright © 2019 by The Sportsman Communications Ltd.
Other material is copyright their respective owners.