Tony Smith: Warrington Wolves coach says rugby league 'becoming less attractive'

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Wire coach Smith may leave rugby league

Warrington Wolves head coach Tony Smith fears interest in rugby league is dwindling, saying the sport is not growing and could be promoted better.

The 50-year-old is stepping down at the end of the season after almost nine years with Warrington.

"The game is becoming less attractive," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"But that is my vibe on it. I am not bitter because I am finishing at Warrington, I've felt like this for a few years now."

Figures from Sport England for the year ending September 2016 show that weekly rugby league participation by people aged 16 and over has seen a 10-year decrease of nearly 40%.

He continued: "I'm not sure that we are growing much as a sport. I think the sport is dwindling and we need some freshness and excitement about the way we promote it."

Under Smith, Warrington have won three Challenge Cups and two League Leaders' Shields, and have had three losing appearances in Super League Grand Finals.

The Australian, who guided Warrington to securing their top-flight status through the Qualifiers this season, does not know whether his future will be in the sport.

"I wouldn't be excited about jumping into anything in rugby league just at the moment. I'd love to see some changes before I could get excited about the game as a whole," Smith added.

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