Hull KR boss Tony Smith has his say on Leeds Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker

Tony Smith faced Leeds Rhinos for the first time last Friday night since it was announced that Zak Hardaker was leaving Lancashire club Wigan Warriors.

Smith himself enjoyed success at Headingley, with Hardaker also enjoying a trophy-laden spell during his five years at the club.

In the build-up to Hull KR’s Super League match with Leeds, Hardaker’s transfer was confirmed with a start that looked likely, marking an incredible return for a man who looked likely never to back down in the dressing room at Headingley.

And, Smith thought it would have been a daunting prospect to come up against the 30-year-old on his ‘homecoming’.

“Zak is a great player and he’s a really capable young man,” Smith said.

“He’s dangerous on the ball, big, strong and quick and can do things others can’t on the pitch.”

However, his debut didn’t happen as he suffered a seizure outside his home in Pontefract last week – the afternoon of his first training session at Kirkstall Road with the Rhinos.

Since then, rugby league has come together for the 30-year-old with well wishes pouring in from all corners of the sport, but it remains to be seen when Hardaker will make his second debut.



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Edward L. Robinett