MATTY Smith is treating tomorrow night’s showdown with Warrington as his final audition to land a place in the England squad.
The halfback has been widely-praised for his form this season and, with Kevin Sinfield and Rangi Chase no longer in the Test reckoning, hopes he has done enough to land the No.7 shirt for the end-of-season Four Nations.
As if securing a Grand Final berth was not incentive enough, Smith is well aware that national coach Steve McNamara will trim down his provisional squad less than 48 hours after their crunch semi-final – and he is determined to make his mark.
He said: “This is the biggest game of the season so far, we know what we need to do and what we’re playing for.
“I’m also playing for the England role.
“With Richie (Myler) also in the train-on squad, hopefully I can get the better of him and hopefully we get the win.
“To get picked for England, you have to play well in big games and they don’t get better than this.
“I’m ready to step up and play for England and I want to go over there and show what I can do.”
Smith has experienced plenty of good fortune recently.
After landing a new four-year deal with Wigan, he was named in the Super League Dream Team, won the £1,000 club Lotto - and even revealed he had profited from a £4,000 tax rebate!
Presumably, he is hoping his good luck continues?
“I think, with the hard work we have put in, we don’t need luck,” he said.
“We’re ready, everyone is hungry to succeed, we know how good it felt last year and we want it again.”
Wigan, at full-strength, are heading into this home clash with the momentum of three impressive victories - including an epic 24-20 triumph against the Wolves three weeks ago.
Smith said: “We’re 80 minutes away from a Grand Final - it’s there for us to do. All that is left is go out and perform now.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game. They’re a great attacking side, but we’re at home and hopefully we can get over the line.”
He has been putting in extra practice at goal-kicking this week.
“You need to work to get the rewards, and gradually I’m getting better and feeling more comfortable with it,” he added.
“It might win us a game someday, you never know.”
Shaun Wane plans to name an unchanged line-up.