Tony Smith backs Roy Asotasi to hit form for Warrington Wolves

Smith backs Asotasi to prove credentials

Smith backs Asotasi to prove credentials

First published in Sport by , Sports reporter

BOSS Tony Smith insists Roy Asotasi is determined to prove his worth after being recalled to the Warrington Wolves match squad this week.

The 32-year-old New Zealand international is nearing the end of his debut season in Super League and has one year remaining on his contract.

The prop has missed out on Smith’s previous two 19-man selections, but Wolves’ head of coaching and rugby believes Asotasi is begin - ning to find his feet.

“It’s been tough for Roy. It’s a different style and it’s been tough in many aspects for him,” said Smith.

“It’s not dissimilar to most overseas players when they first come over.

“There are many examples and I often use the one of Trent Barrett, who was fantastic by the time he left but not everyone remembers his first season. In our own club there was Matt King.

“There are numerous examples of overseas players coming and play - ing and struggling to some degree with the style and the way the game is played here, as well as being such a big culture change for them.

“So it takes time, but Roy is man - aging it the best he can and he’s determined to get it right and deserves an opportunity to get it right.

“He’s been working really hard and deserves an opportunity again, so he’s got a recall into the squad.”

Another hoping to hold down a regular starting spot is Richie Myler, who Smith felt had a solid return to action against Huddersfield Giants last week.

“He was steady,” added Smith. “I don’t think Rich by his own admittance set the world on fire, but he was solid and probably what he needed to be when he was returning.

“He needs to build a bit of form as he’s missed a fair amount of rugby league through injury at different stages.

“It’s tough when they don’t have a chance to play somewhere else and hone their skills before they’re thrown in the deep end, it’s difficult.

“He had a good solid hit out and showed signs of getting back to some of his better stuff.”

Smith is looking for a good per - formance against league leaders St Helens at Langtree Park tonight, Thursday, but is not focused on Wolves’ final Super League posi - tion.

“If we can finish high up in that ladder that’s good, but as Leeds have proved in the past it’s not completely necessary,” he explained.

“They (St Helens) are without a couple of key players. Jonny Lomax is a fantastic operator and Luke Walsh has done a tremendous job for them.

“They’re league leaders and are going to finish that way. They’re the test at the moment and we will hold them in the respect that they deserve.”

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