Smith gets his first shot at redemption - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Smith gets his first shot at redemption

By Laine Clark 09/02/2010 09:47:49 PM Comments (0)

The first step toward NRL redemption will be taken by once-troubled halfback Tim Smith on Saturday night.

The former Parramatta playmaker has been named to partner Ben Hunt in the halves in the Broncos' NRL trial against reigning premiers Melbourne in Rockhampton.

Smith, 25, has made every post a winner since joining Brisbane's pre-season training squad under a deal with Queensland Cup club Brisbane Easts.

But Smith - who is registered with both the Broncos and Easts - knows all the hard work starts now if he wants to re-establish himself in the NRL.

"You want to go out and train well but it doesn't count for anything if you don't play well on the field," Smith told the Broncos website.

After returning from a one year stint in England and signing with Easts, Smith is suddenly in the frame for a place in the top 17 for the NRL season-opener against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium on March 12.

It would cap a remarkable comeback for the 2005 Dally M Rookie of the Year, who sensationally walked away from the Eels three games into the 2008 season citing personal health issues.

After being harassed following a string of off-field incidents at the Eels, Smith escaped the Sydney fishbowl by playing a season for Wigan in the UK.

He impressed for the Warriors before suffering a shoulder injury, forcing him to return home to Australia.

"We have done all the hard work now and I get a chance in a new jersey so it should be good," Smith said of his Broncos debut.

"I just want to get out on the field and play."

While Smith will be one of only a handful of players to have tasted NRL football at the trial, he won't be taking centrestage thanks to the presence of Rockhampton hero Hunt.

"Playing second fiddle is fine with me," Smith laughed.

"Hopefully we can pick up a good combination.

"I am just happy to be here, proud to be part of it."

Former Rockhampton player and coach and now Broncos assistant coach Anthony Griffin will hold the Brisbane reins for the trial.

Broncos squad: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Steve Michaels, Dale Copley, Mitch Rivett, Ben Hunt, Tim Smith, Tim Natusche, Kurt Baptiste, Matthew Britt, Mitchell Dodds, Tariq Sims, Guy Williams. Reserves: Aaron Summers, Corey Norman, Kurtis Lingwoodock, Michael Spence, Dunamis Lui, Rohan Ahern, Scott Anderson, Andrew Clayton, Tyron Haines, Jade Williams.

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