sport

Smith: O'Loughlin my choice

Warrington's Tony Smith has echoed the sentiments of Shaun Wane and backed Sean O'Loughlin to be England's new captain.

Kevin Sinfield called time on his illustrious international career on Monday and Wolves' head coach believes O'Loughlin is the 'obvious' choice.

O'Loughlin made his 11th England appearance in last November's World Cup semi-final defeat by New Zealand, but would have considerably more caps but for numerous injuries.

"He'd be the obvious one if he's available," said former England head coach Smith. "I think he's a tremendous player.

"He's a good leader and a good style of person off the field, too, which is very important to that sort of position.

"It's not just about what you do on the rugby field, it's about how you present yourself and what sort of character you've got.

"I'm sure, if he's called upon, he'd be honoured to do it and would do a fantastic job for his country."

Like Jamie Peacock before him, Sinfield stood down in order to prolong his club career and Smith believes it was a brave decision.

"I've always had the greatest admiration for him and I know that would have been a difficult decision for him because I know how much he loves playing for his country and how much pride he has doing that," he continued.

"It's not just a brave but an honourable decision to step down."