Smith’s future at St Helens still unclear

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Matty Smith is fighting fit and ready to help Saints in their quest to lift major silverware this season, but faces a battle to force his way back into the 17-man match day squad.

Despite being without Ben Barba, Tommy Makinson and Ryan Morgan, head coach Justin Holbrook still couldn’t find a spot for the scrum half against Widnes Vikings last Friday, adding to a tale of woe since the 30-year-old England international rejoined his home town club on a three year deal ahead of the 2017 campaign

The former Wigan scrum half suffered a leg fracture in a pre-season friendly with the Vikings and then five months later was again sidelined after picking up a nasty eye-lid injury at Leeds.

Now he finds himself having to play second fiddle to the up-and-coming Danny Richardson in the fight for the coveted no. 7 shirt and is currently on dual registration at Sheffield Eagles, making his debut for the Yorkshire club earlier this month.

Holbrook said: ”Matty’s long term future here has not been decided but he is definitely part of our plans for the remainder of the season and will be called upon when needed.

“This is great, even though I never thought it would be any different.”

The head coach went on: “Naturally, he is not happy with the present situation but he is still training hard and doing all the right things.

There has also been talk of him going on loan, or playing elsewhere, but this is not the case at this moment in time. However, I am not sure beyond that”

Barba, Makinson and Morgan - who all missed the Widnes match due to injury - are expected to be named in Saints’ 19 man squad which will be released tomorrow (Wednesday) for the trip to Hull FC.

The Airlie Birds, who were disappointing in defeat at Huddersfield last Thursday, will be desperate to bounce back quickly in a bid to claim a top four spot before the Super 8s and Saints’ unbeaten league run, which stretched back to mid-April, will be under threat at the KCOM Stadium where only Wigan have left with the two points safely tucked under their belts.