Wigan’s Under-19s captain Harry Smith guided England to a 14-8 victory against Australia last weekend.
The Academy half-back played alongside Club teammates James McDonnell, Morgan Smithies, Ethan Havard and Joe Shorrocks.
- Smith: “It was great to play alongside four other Wigan lads. It’s always good to get rewarded alongside your mates and pull that jersey on.”
Wigan Warriors Under-19s captain Harry Smith was instrumental in the England Academy’s 14-8 win over Australian Schoolboys at Leigh Sports Village last Saturday.
The 18-year-old’s ten-point haul led to a Man of the Match performance, as he scored a try and converted three goals.
Academy Grand Final Winners James McDonnell, Morgan Smithies, Ethan Havard and Joe Shorrocks also featured in the victory.
Smith said: “It was great to play alongside four other Wigan lads. It’s always good to get rewarded alongside your mates and pull that jersey on.
“We knew it was going to be tough, but I thought we did a really good job on them, especially in the first half.”
Harry Smith 🔥🔥— England Rugby League (@England_RL) December 8, 2018
A well-deserved first-half try for the @WiganWarriorsRL youngster - he's scored 10 of England's 14 points this afternoon.
🎥 Watch LIVE: https://t.co/7XNq9mgccJ pic.twitter.com/uJttdw9B16
Smith, who was named Wigan’s 2018 Under-19s Player of the year, continued his inspirational form and was at the forefront with his in-play kicking game.
It was the half-back’s kick that earned England crucial territory which resulted in Leeds centre Harry Newman scoring the game’s opening try and Smith converted to make it 6-0.
He said: “Kicking that 40-20 was a big relief. I thought it was going to go straight out but thankfully it stayed in and it was a bit of a gamechanger in the end. It helped us get a bit of field position at a crucial time.”
Smith got on the scoresheet himself, as he chased down his own kick to touch down after capitalising on an Australian mistake. He added the two and made it 14-0 soon after half time with a converted penalty.
Although Australia hit back with two unconverted tries from Stephen Crichton and Timanu Alexander, England held on for the win and made it 1-0 in the series.
England Academy Head Coach Dave Elliott said: “Harry Smith stood out in the first half and controlled our sets, but I think Harry Newman and Morgan Smithies were right up there as well. I thought they were both outstanding.”
Smith added: “That was my first crack at the Aussies. Before the game was a bit nerve-wracking but once you get into it, it’s a really good experience and hopefully I can get many more under my belt.”
The England Academy face Australia Schoolboys in the second test at Emerald Headingley on Friday.