Smith deserves his place after ‘gripping’ the team

SHAUN Wane believes Matty Smith fully deserved his place in the Super League Dream Team.

The scrum-half was selected as the best No.7 of the season, with Sean O’Loughlin the other Wigan representative in the fictitious XIII selected by a panel of broadcasters and journalists.

2014 First Utility Super League Dream Team unveiling at  Langtree Park in St Helens

2014 First Utility Super League Dream Team unveiling at Langtree Park in St Helens

Wane believes some of his other players were unlucky to miss out, but was pleased to see Smith recognised for his performances during the year.

“He’s been playing well, he gripped the team when we had a lot of players out with injuries and the unexpected wins owed a lot to Matty,” said Wane.

“I’m really happy with how he’s going, he trains intense, he’s a member of my leadership team... some of his performances have stood him in good stead.

“Lockers has been outstanding, too, I’m happy those two got in – and I thought Liam Farrell’s form has been consistently good, too, but it’s not our call.”

O’Loughlin was included for the fifth successive time, and was one of only three survivors from 2013 – along with Smith and Leeds’ Jamie Peacock.

The evergreen forward was included for a record-extending 10th time, alongside eight debutants.

Peacock was one of five Leeds players unveiled at St Helens yesterday afternoon, an event which served as a launch to the play-offs piece.

The team, which is selected by a panel of broadcasters and journalists in a secret ballot, is drawn from seven clubs and comprises all England-born players for the second consecutive year.

The Super League Dream Team is:

Full-back: Zak Hardaker (Leeds)

Wing: Tommy Makinson (St Helens)

Cntre: Kallum Watkins (Leeds)

Centre: Michael Shenton (Castleford)

Wing: Ryan Hall (Leeds)

Stand-off: Kevin Brown (Widnes)

Scrum-half: Matty Smith (Wigan)

Prop: Jamie Peacock (Leeds)

Hooker: Daryl Clark (Castleford)

Prop: Chris Hill (Warrington)

Second Row: Elliott Whitehead (Catalan)

Second Row: Carl Ablett (Leeds)

Loose forward: Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan)