St Helens bring back ex-Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils star to coach Women’s Super League team

ST HELENS have brought back former halfback Matty Smith to their club to coach their Women’s Super League team.

The move will see Derek Hardman remain with the club and become Saints’ new Reserves head coach, with Ian Talbot focusing solely on his role as first-team assistant coach.

Smith enjoyed two spells in the Red V coming through the Saints Academy, before making his debut for the club in 2006. He also enjoyed successful spells with the Salford Red Devils, Wigan Warriors, Catalans Dragons and Widnes Vikings, winning the Challenge Cup, and Super League as well as the Lance Todd trophy.

Smith will be assisted in this role by former England Women’s head coach and Saints Women’s head of rugby, Craig Richards, as well as Derek Hardman, as he looks to complete his coaching qualifications alongside this role.

On joining back up with the Saints, Smith said: “It’s a great honour to be given the opportunity to come back to the club and coach such a talented group of women. I’m really looking forward to getting started and building up to what I know will be a successful 2023 season.

“The chance to come back to the club was one I couldn’t turn down. I hope with all the knowledge I have gained during my career I can use it to push the team to the next level. I am lucky to have inherited a great backroom staff who not only have good knowledge of the game but are also great people which is key to success.

“I hope all the fans can get behind the girls this year.”

Mike Rush said on the appointment: “Matty has a wealth of playing experience that will stand him in great stead as he begins his coaching journey back at his hometown club. His appointment will help further develop our already strong Women’s set-up and hopefully bring more silverware to the Club.”