Rugby League - Smith not happy about Morley approach

Warrington coach Tony Smith has criticised Salford's new owner Marwan Koukash for making a move for his captain Adrian Morley.

Dr Koukash, the millionaire racehorse owner who pulled the City Reds back from the brink of administration, wanted a big-name signing to provide the struggling club with a boost and publicly revealed his target, much to Smith's displeasure.

The England international is out of contract at the end of 2013, and Smith said: "If any of our players are off contract at the end of the season and we don't approach them before the new date when people can make inquiries, then fine, I don't have a problem with that. I don't really appreciate any sort of approaches before that date."

Morley, 35, who played for Leeds and Sydney Roosters before joining Warrington six years ago, was born and bred in Salford and still lives in the city.

Smith added: "I think it can be unnerving and unsettling, not only for the player but for spectators and everybody concerned.

"The official date has come forward to I think the 30th of April so there's well enough time for all that speculation to happen afterwards but I don't really appreciate the ones in season and certainly not in week one or two of the competition. I think that was a bit excessive. It's probably a little bit different in horse racing."

Morley has yet to make a decision on his future and Smith has not ruled out the possibility of offering him a new contract for 2014.

"He's very proud of being a Salford lad and always speaks highly of it," Smith added. "Whether he ends up ever playing for them or not, he's pretty proud of what he's doing with us.

"We'll sit down whenever he's happy to discuss his future as we have in the past. He and I have a great relationship and we handle things really maturely and honestly and openly with each other."

Meanwhile, Warrington will be without loose forward Ben Harrison for up to six weeks after he underwent a double hernia operation on Tuesday.