Experienced scrum-half Matty Smith has tipped Widnes youngster Joe Lyons for a Super League move at some point in the future.
Smith has been working closely with the 22-year-old since re-joining the Vikings in the off-season, following his release from Catalan Dragons at the end of 2019.
Lyons is widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects to emerge from the club’s impressive academy in recent years and made his debut during Widnes’ final year in the top flight in 2018.
“He’s a very talented kid,” said Smith. “I’ll obviously look to do a lot more with him and I think that’s kind of my role now – trying to help the young lads as much as I can.
“When I was coming through as a youngster, whenever an experienced player came over to me, I wanted to listen because you want to learn the game and learn your trade.
“He’s a great young lad, he’s got a lot of talent and I honestly think if he keeps going the way he is he could possibly be playing Super League.”
Smith’s move to the Championship club raised several eyebrows when it was confirmed in December, not least because St Helens, Wigan and Warrington are among the club’s he’s turned out for in the past five years.
It was the chance to work under Tim Sheens, though, that really appealed to him, partly because he’s already starting to think about life after rugby.
“I like the kind of coaching side of things,” he added. “I want to learn from Tim as a player, first and foremost, but I want to go into coaching once I’ve finished playing so if I can learn a little bit from him from a coaching point of view as well, that’s another plus for me.
“I think I like that side of the game so if I can apply that to help any of the young lads in any way I will.”