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Brian Smith to help Serbia qualify for the Rugby League World Cup

Brian Smith during his stint at Sydney Roosters Source: Getty Images

Former Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters coach has been appointed as a consultant to the Serbian national team ahead of final qualifying round. Also, it’s been announced the team will be strengthened with 15 Australian players of Serbian descent during the preparation tour in Australia, from January 28 to February 8

Renowned Australian coach Brian Smith has been appointed as a consultant to the Serbian Rugby League national team ahead of the World Cup 2017 qualifiers. Current Wakefield Wildcats coach was recently in Belgrade to help the Serbian team preparations for their upcoming, first ever tour to Australia, from January 28 to February 8.

During the tour Serbia will play series of test games, including Cabramatta 9 tournament and friendly against the Philippines national team on February 5. Brian Smith will work together with existing coaching staff and their team will be strengthened with 15 Australian players of Serbian descent. Some of them, like Ilija Radan, Dejan Lukenic, Milan Radojevic and Adam Nedic had already played for Serbian national team.

Smith and Aussies will bring much needed experience to the Serbian Eagles in their bid to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup, to be held across Australia, New Zealand and PNG in 2017.

After winning European Championship B, Serbian team currently sits 11th in the world rankings, and will face Italy and Wales in the final qualifications round in October.

Serbian Rugby League Federation announced agreement with Smith and plans for Australian tour on their website.

“We have agreed that Smith will take on an advisory role during preparations for the qualifiers and for the campaign itself in October 2016. Involvement of such experienced and skilled professional is a massive boost for us and grows our chances for success in the World Cup 2017 qualifiers”, has been told in the SRLF official statement.

The Federation’s website cited Smith’s words that “Serbia has a huge potential, especially in players physical abilities.”

”It’s clear that we have a lot of hard work to do in order to make our dream come true. With the help of Brian Smith and large colony Australian-Serbian players we can achieve to qualify for The World Cup 2017.

During their stay in Sydney, Serbian players and officials will pay a visit to Obilic, most successful Serbian basketball club in Australia.