Smith returns to training

Matty Smith suffered a horrific eye injury during Saints clash with Leeds but is back in training sooner than expected
Matty Smith suffered a horrific eye injury during Saints clash with Leeds but is back in training sooner than expected

Matty Smith, who suffered a nasty eye injury in the 24-22 defeat at Leeds last month, is back in training, but Saints’ boss Justin Holbrook is not prepared at this stage to predict exactly when he will be ready for first team action once more.

Holbrook said: “I cannot put time frame on it, but Matty’s improvement has been more than dramatic than we first thought and that is good news for the club.”

I cannot put time frame on it, but Matty’s improvement has been more than dramatic than we first thought and that is good news for the club

Saints coach Justin Holbrook

The scrum-half also missed the early part of the campaign with a broken leg, which he picked up in a pre-season friendly against Widnes Vikings, but the sooner he returns the better as Saints approach the business end of 2017.

Whether his is fit to resume within the next few weeks is a matter of conjecture but with his Australian team-mate, Ben Barba, not too far off completing his 12-match NRL drugs ban that in itself will be a timely boost for a club hoping to make a massive impact in the Super 8s.

Barba - described as a multi-talented world class player - is itching to get started and Saints’ fans are just as desperate to see their new boy make his debut.

Prop Kyle Amor missed the Catalans Dragons match due to a slight hamstring problem but is expected to be fit to face Wakefield Trinity - one of his former clubs.

Flying winger Regan Grace was also withdrawn in the second half against the French but Holbrook revealed it wasn’t a tactical move or an injury - the Welsh youngster just felt sick and it was wise to bring him off.