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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 13:52 UK

St Helens half-back Matty Smith stands by for recall

Matty Smith
Smith started his professional career at St Helens in 2006

Salford scrum-half Matty Smith is still in line to play for St Helens in their play-off clash with Warrington.

Smith, who has spent the season on loan at The Willows, is now due to join the Reds on a two-year contract.

But after injuries to Kyle Eastmond and Leon Pryce, and with utility back Jonny Lomax a doubt with a quad injury, Smith could make a dramatic Saints swansong.

Smith is not named in the 19-man squad but could be drafted in up to an hour before kick-off if Lomax is ruled out.

Pryce is facing a three-month lay-off with neck surgery, while Eastmond has been ruled out of Friday's game after aggravating a hip injury in Saturday's 40-30 win over Castleford.

Saints welcome back prop Maurie Fa'asavalu for the first time since he damaged a shoulder in April.

And second rower Sia Soliola is poised to make only his fourth appearance for the club after making his comeback last week from a ruptured kneecap that has kept him out since the second weekend of the season.

But Smith's return, if Lomax fails to make it, would be the major talking point.

The 23-year-old does have experience of the play-offs.

He replaced the injured Sean Long for Saints in their opening play-off game against Leeds three years ago, nervelessly kicking three goals in a tense 10-8 victory.

But he then made way when Long returned for the Grand Final a fortnight later, Saints losing 33-6 at Old Trafford.

"I have played in a play-off series before and I hope that experience will be useful to the club," said Smith.

"As soon as the club contacted me, I jumped at the chance to be part of the play-offs.

"Whilst my future very much lies with Salford, it's good to be back at Knowsley Road for a short period and linking up with many of my former team-mates.

"I cannot wait to get started at the club and try to fight my way into what is already a successful team."

If Smith comes in, it will be two-and-a-half years since his last Saints appearance against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan in March 2008, when current coach Mick Potter was then in charge of the French club.



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