Smith backs Wigan for silverware

Matty Smith returned to training last week, and from what he has seen, Wigan have what it takes to embark on a silverware hunt in 2016.

The England halfback was given an extended pre-season break due to his involvement in the autumn international Test series but has reported back to training with just under a month to go until the start of the season.

Last year proved unfruitful for the Warriors, missing out on a trophy for a second successive year following their Grand Final defeat to Leeds before being dumped out of the Challenge Cup by Hull Kingston Rovers in the last 16.

However, Smith believes that those disappointments have set the Warriors up well for the upcoming season.

“The disappointment of getting to a Grand Final and not winning it last year, you can see in the lads, there’s an extra motivation to succeed,” he told Wigan Today.

The lads are shaping unbelievably, you can see how fit they are.

“We’ve got a great squad, we’ve added two great players in Willie and Sam, and the young kids are a year older, a year more experienced – we’re in a good position.

“We’re not an ageing squad.

“I think Lockers (Sean O’Loughlin) is the only one in his 30s and, we saw in the Tests, he was player of the series! He’s a special player, a freak.
“It’s a young, fresh squad and attitude is a big thing, and the young lads have got that, so hopefully we keep progressing.”

While Wigan’s recruitment has been kept to a minimum, several of their rivals have had big changes in personnel. Despite that, Smith expects the regular suspects to be in the mix for trophies by the end of the season.

“Catalans have bought well, but you never know how they’re going to be away from home,” he said.

“Warrington have bought reasonably well, and I know Leeds have lost a couple but Brett Ferres is a great signing for them – but we’re happy with where we’re at.”