St Helens confirm Matty Smith exit

Drew Darbyshire

St Helens have confirmed that Matty Smith will join another Super League club at the end of the season for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old has found chances hard to come by at Saints this season due to the form of Jonny Lomax and Danny Richardson in the halves.

He will join another Super League club ahead of the 2019 season after making 49 appearances for Saints.

On Smith’s departure, Saints coach Justin Holbrook said: “It’s been tough for Matty this year.

“He just missed out at the beginning of the season at half-back and it has been hard for him to work his way into the team as we have had a successful season to date.

“He has done a great job for us at hooker when needed but Matty is too good a player not to be playing in Super League regularly and therefore it made sense to make this move happen.

“Matty has been a good influence in training and around the squad and that can’t have been easy when he wasn’t playing. He is a great guy and we wish him all the best.”

Smith will call time on his third spell at hometown club St Helens after re-joining the club from rivals Wigan Warriors ahead of the 2017 season.

He made his debut in 2006 after coming through the club’s academy system and then re-signed for the club ahead of the 2010 Grand Final.

On his exit, Smith said: “Firstly, I would like to thank both Eamonn McManus and Keiron Cunningham for bringing me back to St Helens, a club that I grew up supporting from an early age.

“It’s fair to say that the past two years have not gone as I would have hoped or liked. Unfortunately, last year, the two worst injuries of my career limited my time on the pitch and this season I have not had the chance to play in my most effective position of scrum-half.

“It has been difficult for me to sit and watch because anyone who knows me will tell you how passionate I am about playing rugby league.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Eamonn for the way he has handled my situation. He has been great with me and allowed me to leave the club two years before my contract was due to end in order to fulfil my desire to play rugby league at the top level.

“I would like to wish everyone at the club nothing but the best for the rest of the season and beyond.”