Wane expecting big things of new half-backs

Wigan coach Shaun Wane faced the unenviable task of replacing Brett Finch and Thomas Leuluai for next season – but he believes new signings Blake Green and Matty Smith are up to the task.

Smith has already made nine appearances for the Warriors, having joined from Salford for the final third of last season, while Green recently joined from Hull KR for an undisclosed fee.

Wane told the club’s official website: “I am expecting Matty and Blake to jump straight in at half back with Sam Powell in the wings. I am expecting good things from them.

“We will have the same mentality next season to go out and try and win all our games.”

Smith began his career with Wigan’s arch-rivals St Helens, although he was restricted to just 20 appearances with the club.

He spent time on loan with Widnes, Celtic Crusaders and Salford, before returning to Saints for a stint in the 2010 play-offs, when he played in their Super League Grand Final defeat to the Warriors.

The Whiston-born half-back then moved to Salford on a permanent basis, impressing suitably to become a sought after prospect as his contract ran down at the Salford City Stadium.

Green, 26, has spent the past two seasons with Hull KR after joining from Canterbury Bulldogs.

His NRL career, which started in 2007, also included spells with Parramatta and Cronulla, before he made the move to Super League, linking up with former Warriors half-back Michael Dobson, with whom he had previously played for Australian schoolboys.

Wane has also overseen the departures of George Carmont and Jeff Lima, with Carmont’s squad number taken up by young centre Jack Hughes.

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