Wolves snap up Smith on loan from Catalans, referee Child demoted

By Patric Ridge 7 August 2019 8
Wolves snap up Smith on loan from Catalans, referee Child demoted

Warrington Wolves have signed former Wigan Warriors and St Helens half-back Matty Smith on loan from Catalans Dragons for the remainder of the 2019 Super League season.

The Wolves, who were beaten by the Dragons in an ill-tempered clash on Saturday, have turned to the vastly experienced England international - a two-time Grand Final winner - to provide cover in the halves.

Star man Blake Austin suffered an ankle injury against Catalans, while Declan Patton has also been left out of the squad for Thursday's game with League Leaders' Shield winners St Helens, meaning Smith is set to make his Warrington debut against one of his previous clubs.

The Wolves also face Saints in the Challenge Cup final on August 24.

"Matt is an experienced player. He's a Lance Todd trophy winner so he knows all about big games and how to win Challenge Cups and Grand Finals," said Wire head coach Steve Price. 

"He knows how to steer a team around the park, and he'll add extra competition to our halves going into the business end of the season."

Meanwhile, James Child will referee in the Championship for the upcoming round of fixtures after he came under fire for his handling of Warrington's clash with the Dragons in Perpignan.

Child was criticised by the two coaches following the game, which ended amid ugly scenes - with a fight between the players on the pitch and sections of both clubs' support clashing in the crowd.

The official, who will act as linesman in the Super League clash between Wigan and Hull KR on Friday, will not referee in the top flight over the weekend, and will instead take charge of Widnes Vikings' game against Toulouse in the second tier.

Rugby League's controlling body, the RFL, handed out sanctions to multiple players following the scenes at the Catalans and Warrington game, with England international Sam Tomkins receiving a three-match penalty notice.

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Patric Ridge