By Ben Burrows
Salford City Reds brightest stars gain international recognition as two are called up for England for next week’s International Origin Game Two.
Matty Smith and Jodie Broughton are in line to make their England debuts after coach Steve McNamara selected the pair in his squad to face the Exiles next week.
The 24-year-old winger could now be part of the game at the Galpharm Stadium and was delighted to receive McNamara’s call.
“I was over the moon,” he said. “My heart was pounding as soon as I saw his name on my phone. I didn’t really think about being picked for the first team because I was with the Knights.”
England were victorious 18-10 in the first game of the series at Langtree Park a fortnight ago.
Broughton has been in excellent try scoring form so far this season and has blossomed from having Australian centre Joel Moon playing inside him – Moon himself has been selected for Daniel Anderson’s Exiles.
“When I came to Salford (from Leeds Rhinos at the start of the 2010 season) it was a big move for me,” he said.
“I think we had the right mix of people here and I learned a lot from some really class players.
“I’ve probably achieved more than I thought I would in the time I’ve been here. I’m grateful to Salford because they showed a lot of faith in me and I hope I’m repaying them.”
Head coach Phil Veivers is pleased his players have received the recognition their play this season has deserved.
“It’s great for Salford,” he said. “It just goes to show we’ve played some entertaining stuff this year. It’s nice that they have they’ve got some recognition.”
He added: “Jodie has always been a renowned try-scorer but we’ve put more strings to his bow this year.
“Playing outside Joel Moon, he’s been outstanding and it’s good that Joel’s been recognised as well. He’s freed Jodie up and given him a lot of opportunities.”
Scrumhalf Smith has been central to Salford’s new brand of exciting attacking play and has attracted the attention of rivals Wigan Warriors.
“It’s probably been Matty’s best season for a number of years if not his best ever and he’s got recognition from England and another club,” said Veivers.
Smith’s halfback partner Daniel Holdsworth will be opposite Smith after being selected alongside Moon in the Exiles squad.
The England-Exiles International Origin match will take place on Wednesday 4 at Huddersfield’s Galpharm Stadium, kick off 19:45.