RL Today: Smith returns to Saints & Ireland international set for NRL move

Matty Smith St Helens PA

Smith returns to Saints

Former England international Matty Smith has returned to his hometown club St Helens to take over as the head coach of the women’s team in 2023.

This will be Smith’s first venture into coaching following his retirement from playing at the end of last season.

Smith will be assisted in the role by former England women’s coach and Saints women’s head of rugby Craig Richards as well as Derek Hardman, as he looks to complete his coaching qualifications alongside this role.

Ireland international set for NRL move

Ireland international forward Henry O’Kane has reportedly made the move from Wests Tigers to Cronulla Sharks. (The Mole, Wide World of Sports)

The 20-year-old back-rower was born and raised in Sydney but qualifies to represent Ireland through family heritage. He made his international debut for the Wolfhounds at the recent World Cup.

O’Kane has yet to make his NRL debut, but he is heading for the Sharks, according to The Mole.

Warrington recruitment update

Warrington chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick has revealed that the club still have salary cap space available should a player become available who they are interested in. (Yorkshire Live)

Fitzpatrick told Yorkshire Live: “We’ve still got a bit of salary cap space available – not massive amounts, but we’ve got enough to keep our powder dry and see what pops up in the market.”

New Widnes kits

The Vikings have unveiled their home and away kits for the 2023 Championship season.

Opacic’s Hull KR excitement

Australian centre Tom Opacic is excited to get his Hull KR career underway under new coach Willie Peters. (Hull Live)

Opacic told Hull Live: “The way he (Peters) wants to run things links with what I want to do, and the way he wants to play suits me down to a tee, so it was personally the right thing to do at this stage of my career.”

Castleford’s play-off goals

New recruit Albert Vete says reaching the play-offs in 2023 is the minimum aim for the Tigers. (The Yorkshire Post)

The former Tonga international told TYP: “I got a little taste of the finals (play-offs) with Hull KR in 2021. Looking at the squad we’ve put together here, there’s no reason why we can’t be playing finals. For us as a team, that’s the minimum aim.”

Birthdays

St Helens legend Chris Joynt turns 51 today (December 7).

Also celebrating; former Australia international Mark Geyer (55), former Super League prop Chris Feather (41), ex-England international Stuart Jones (41), former Jamaica international Paul White (40), New Zealand international Briton Nikora (25), Dewsbury hooker Reiss Butterowrth (24) and Cornwall’s mullet king Charley Bodman (21).

Trivia

St Helens hold the record for most consecutive Super League title wins, having won four in a row (2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022).

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About Drew Darbyshire 8639 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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