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Super League: Wigan’s new leader a fine price for Man of Steel

| 05.02.2015

The Man of Steel award is the highest individual accolade a Super League professional can be awarded in a season, indicating that he has had the sole biggest impact on the campaign.

With the club’s success as a whole bearing no factor on the award, it means that any player finding himself in form during the year can make a run at being named the best man in the Super League.

Not many men are good enough to be crowned Man of Steel more than once. Only three players have managed the feat, which probably rules out reigning holder Daryl Clark as a betting option at odds of 25/1.

However, at a slightly skinnier price of 16/1 the chance of Wigan’s Matty Smith looks a peachy one, as he’s tasked with pushing a young side in transition towards the top of the standings.

As the scrum-half enters his third full season with the Warriors he’ll be a part of a sparser dressing room thanks to eight players leaving in the off-season and only four coming in to replace them.

That means Wigan will be placing a little more trust in their youth system to make up the remaining spaces in the side, with Smith the fulcrum.

What aids the former Everton youth’s cause, along with the fact that he will have to lead from the front, is that he has taken over kicking duties from legendary Australian Pat Richards, himself a Man of Steel winner in 2010.

The 27-year-old adapted to the task superbly last season, earning a spot on the 2014 Super League Dream Team in the process. With a heightened role in a transitional side now bestowed on him, Smith’s bid to claim the highest honour in the season looks a cracking one.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.