Ryan Hall is ‘one of best wingers England has produced’, believes Hull KR boss Tony Smith

HULL KR coach Tony Smith has spoken of his “pride” in Ryan Hall as the England winger prepares to make his 300th Super League appearance.

Smith, of course, gave the player his professional debut when in charge of Leeds Rhinos and the then teenager faced Bradford Bulls in the famous maiden Magic Weekend encounter in 2007.

He has also coached Hall at international level and, for the Robins, brought him back to Super League from NRL club Sydney Roosters last autumn.

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Five-time Grand Final winner Hall, 33, is the competition’s joint top scorer with 15 tries ahead of tomorrow’s game against Castleford Tigers when Rovers hope to get the win which will edge them closer to securing a play-off spot.

Asked if he always felt Hall would be a success, Smith said: “I knew he was going to have a pretty bright future.

“Could I have predicted how bright? Probably not.

“But he’s been a super player and one of the best wingers this country has produced, certainly in the Super League era.

“He’s been terrific. It does make me proud. I have a whole lot of respect for Ryan as a person and as a player.

Hull KR's Ryan Hall. Picture: Jack Wray/Super League Europe/via SWpix.com

“He had 400 career games not long back which was a remarkable milestone for someone of his age and stage and he still has plenty left in him in terms of matches.

“We made mention of it with each other that I was there for his first and then his 400th.

“I’ll be very , very proud to be there at his 300th Super League, too.”

Meanwhile, having won Super League twice with Leeds, and reached three Grand Finals with Warrington Wolves, Smith knows all about play-off rugby mentality.

Rovers finished bottom last term but have impressed plenty this time around, especially with their attacking quality; if they do make the top-six they could certainly ruffle some feathers.

Smith said: “All I’d say is there’s not many teams we’ve not been competitive against this year.

“Most people who have watched us in most games this year have seen that we have been really competitive in most.

“There’s only been the odd flat game where I’d say the opposition were too good on those occasions; there’s not too many been blow-outs.

“We’ve played Catalans three times and they absolutely deserve the League Leaders Shield and have had a fantastic season. But we ran them real close. It shows how close most of the rest of the competition is.”