Former Saints half back Matty Smith relishing new challenge

Matty Smith. Picture: SWPix
Matty Smith. Picture: SWPix

Former England international Matty Smith wants to get back to enjoying his rugby after taking the decision to drop out of Super League.


The 32-year-old former Saints scrum-half has endured a tough time over the last two seasons, having been released by both his home-town club and Catalans Dragons, but has now found a new home at Championship club Widnes.

Smith made his first appearance for the Vikings under new coach Tim Sheens, Australia's 2013 World Cup-winning coach, in Sunday's trial game against Castleford and says he has rediscovered his appetite for the game.

"I didn't know what I was doing for a while but it's great to be back," Smith said at the season launch.

"I've been at Widnes before so I know what the club is like. It's a big club with a load of history behind them. It's local for me as well.

"I'd never say never to Super League but for me the last couple of years have been difficult and I want to get back enjoying my rugby again.

"I certainly did that on Sunday, I played with a smile on my face and that's what it's all about.

"I hope to be part of something special and getting Widnes back to where they belong."

Smith ended the 2019 season on loan with Warrington and says he had a chance to stay with Steve Price's Challenge Cup winners.

"There was a contract there for me," he said. "But for me it's about playing regularly.

"They had already signed Gareth Widdop and Blake Austin is there. I was up for a fight but I felt what was best for me was to play week in, week out and hopefully I can do that at Widnes.

"I really enjoyed my time at Warrington. Steve was fantastic with me and I owe them quite a bit for getting me back here and playing."

The chance to work under Sheens, who was at Hull KR until last June, was another major factor behind Smith's decision to move to Widnes.

"I spoke to Tim a couple of times when he was at Hull before I signed for Catalans," he revealed.

"I decided to go over there and try that lifestyle. I've obviously followed him for a number of years and what he's won in the game is amazing.

"To get the chance to work with him at this stage is fantastic. I want to go into coaching myself so to learn from him on that side is a great thing for me at the minute."

Widnes, who were relegated from Super League at the end of the 2018 season, begin their Championship campaign against promoted Oldham on February 2.