Matty Smith still has a future at St Helens, insists Justin Holbrook

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook insists Matty Smith still has a role to play at the club – but concedes they may look to get him some game-time somewhere if he doesn’t feature soon.

Smith is yet to play for the Saints’ first-team in 2018, with him limited to outings in the club’s reserve team – who rarely play as it is thanks to few teams taking part in the setup.

And Holbrook told League Express he wouldn’t be against the potential of a temporary move for Smith.

“I definitely want him to remain part of our group, but if he doesn’t get a run in the near future, I’m not against him going and getting some games,” Holbrook said.

“In truth, that’s only because it might be good and beneficial for him. But he can cover a number of key positions in our squad, that’s the thing.

“Sure, he’s a halfback primarily, but he covers that spot on the bench which Theo is currently playing in, and if Jonny Lomax ever has to go to fullback, he can step in then. He’s just got to be a bit patient.”

Holbrook did, however, suggest that a permanent move for Smith at this time would be unlikely.

He said: “There’s nothing majorly wrong with what Matty’s doing. You’ve got to remember that Danny Richardson is playing well at the moment, and Matty is doing a lot of good work with him.

“He’s definitely part of our plans long-term moving forward.”

And Holbrook was also quick to praise the 30-year-old for how he has handled being out of the side.

“He’s coping well with it, but it is tough for him,” Holbrook said.

“There’s no straightforward answer around that; unfortunately it’s hard for any player not playing in the first-team at the minute. It’s tough for him, but he’s been fantastic around the boys in training and he’s been fantastic for us.”