HARRY SMITH was delighted to show his credentials at a new level with England.
The 23-year-old enjoyed his best campaign to date with Wigan, developing into an accomplished halfback and leading them to Grand Final glory.
Just a week after beating Catalans at Old Trafford, Smith was given the scrum-half berth for England for their first Test against Tonga.
And he retained the role for the whole series, helping his country to a 3-0 whitewash and being named player of the series after the third win at Headingley.
His performances have let to him being nominated for the International Rugby League Golden Boot (see page 3).
Smith was pleased to take his opportunity in the team as he eyes up the position long term with the England team.
“That’s the way sport is, you have to take your chances and I feel like I did,” he said.
“My job is to organise the team, to lead, to kick, and then let George (Williams) and Jack (Welsby) do their things.
“I think that combination worked well, as it did with Mikey (Lewis).”
His performances at the back end of the season, spearheading Wigan’s charge to the League Leaders’ Shield as well as the title before his England starring role, have banished any doubts about his ability to be a world-class halfback.
“To make this step up and prove that I can do it at this (international) level has been massive for me,” added Smith.
“Playing for Wigan and winning the Grand Final obviously helped. But the trust that the whole (England) team has given me, and Waney (head coach Shaun Wane) and the coaching staff, I think it’s shown.”
Smith and the rest of Wigan’s Grand Final winners have some further time off before reporting for the start of pre-season training, but their six new signings will begin work this week.