TONY Smith has been using his friendship with England’s caretaker football manager Stuart Pearce to gain some insight on preparing his side for ‘big games.’

The 49-year-old current national football boss was seen exchanging thoughts with Smith as Wolves ground out a 22-20 win against Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium, with that being the latest of several matches which the former 78-cap England left back has observed alongside Wolves’ head of coaching and rugby in recent seasons.

But the relationship between the former rugby league and current football England coaches is working both ways, with Smith recently travelling to watch Pearce’s under 21s side prepare for their match against Belgium in February.

“We are just comparing notes as coaches,” said Smith.

“Both of us look for our teams to perform at a good level and I think every time you speak to another coach you gain something.

“We have been able to look at one another’s teams. I went down and observed his under 21s in training for a big game and he has been here a couple of times.

“It was a good experience for us and we compared some notes about how teams prepare for those big matches.”

Pearce, who made more than 550 career appearances with Nottingham Forest, Manchester City, West Ham United, Newcastle United and Coventry City, was even invited inside Wolves’ dressing room before, during and after the match in which Smith’s side overcame a stuttering performance to pick up two Super League points against the Challenge Cup holders and jump back to the top of the table.

Smith suggested that Wolves’ own match-day rituals may help to influence Pearce’s treatment of England players in the build-up to the Euro 2012 tournament, which the Great Britain Olympic football team coach may have to prepare for if the FA continue to stall on the appointment of a full-time replacement of sacked Fabio Capello.

“Stuart is very passionate about his rugby league and he enjoyed seeing what our club’s culture is about pre-game, during the game and post game,” said Smith.

“It was an honour for us to have someone like Stuart in our dressing room to observe us and see how we go about things.

“It was a positive all round for both sides.”