Smith makes dramatic return to Saints for play-offs

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The Independent Online

St Helens have recalled Matty Smith from his season-long loan at Salford and he could go straight into the play-off maelstrom against Warrington tomorrow night.

The 23-year-old half-back has not played in Saints' first team for two and a half years, but now that Salford's commitments are over he has been brought back to Knowsley Road to cover for an injury crisis in midfield.

Leon Pryce is already ruled out for the season by shoulder surgery and Kyle Eastmond is out of tomorrow's game with a recurrence of his hip injury.

If Jonny Lomax is also sidelined with a quad muscle problem, Smith is almost certain to make a dramatic return.

Smith said that he sees his future at Salford. "But as soon as the club contacted me, I jumped at the chance to be part of the play-offs," he said.

Warrington bring back the five players Tony Smith rested for last weekend's trip to Harlequins, including Lee Briers, whose re-emergence from international retirement was confirmed yesterday when he was named in Wales' preliminary 34-man squad for the European Cup next month.

Hull's Lee Radford has had his one match suspension lifted on appeal, leaving him free to face Hull KR on Saturday.

Bradford have completed the signing of the French Test captain, Olivier Elima, from the Catalan Dragons on a two-year contract. The second-rower has previous British experience with Wakefield and Castleford.