Smith excited for Roby v Clark battle

Warrington Wolves coach Tony Smith admits he’s excited for the tussle between England’s two premier hookers on Thursday night, and has backed Daryl Clark as the top No.9 between the two.

Clark locks horns with hooking rival James Roby as the Wolves take on St Helens live on TV on Thursday night, and Smith says whilst both players are “super”, he’s backing his own man as the best of the bunch – just as Saints counterpart Keiron Cunningham would do, too.

It represents the first time the two players have squared off since Clark moved to Warrington, fresh from a spell on England duty last year at the Four Nations – a tournament Roby did not participate in.

“It’s a terrific match-up,” Smith said. “They are two super players. I’ve been a huge admirer of James and been fortunate enough to coach him. I love watching him play but, at the same time, I hate watching him play against my team.

“But I love watching Daryl. He is starting to feel his way with us and he’s been very good over the last couple of weeks.

“If you ask (Saints coach) Keiron (Cunningham), he’s going to say James is still the best  hooker but I’m going to say Daryl is. Whoever Steve Mac picks as his starting hooker, he’s going to have a terrific player on the bench.”