NEW Chorley Lynx RLFC signing Rob Smyth is looking forward to doing battle at Victory Park starting with this Sunday's friendly curtain-raiser against a Widnes Vikings U21s side.
Smyth, recently released by Super League outfit Warrington Wolves, is seen as a key piece in the jigsaw for newly-appointed Lynx boss Mark Lee.
Lee, busy in the transfer market ahead of February 1's Arriva Trains Cup starter at Oldham, has many new players now on board and others still being lined up for moves to Chorley.
Anthony Murray is the latest, a hooker and half back recently at Workington Town and described by his new boss as a 'lively character'.
Murray is a close friend of Smyth, 26, who joined Wigan Warriors straight from school and just a year ago was part of an England World Sevens team that reached the final in Sydney.
Smyth, a versatile Irish international, has also enjoyed Super League experience with London Broncos, for whom he featured against Leeds in the 1999 Challenge Cup final.
He said: "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and will be happy to be playing again.
"I know a few of the lads and am looking forward to working with Mark."
His new coach added: "I've played against Rob before, and he will bring with him benefits of pace and a lot of experience to our back division.
"He's also accomplished as a goal kicker and out on the wing. I've been negotiating for him for weeks and he's coming here for all the right reasons.
"He has pace and good vision."
As well as Smyth and Murray, Lee has added four more players to his squad in the last month, including fellow ex-Wigan schoolboy Darryl Lacey, who was at Oldham last season.
Lacey plays centre, wing or hooker, and another versatile player now involved is ex-St Helens centre and winger Dave Cunliffe.
Lee has also snapped up two players from old club Salford - back row Danny Burton and full-back Gary O'Regan.
Other new faces include Chris Newall and Ian Parry, while Martin Gambles - another friend of Smyth's – is to return once his commitments at Orrell RUFC are complete. Lee also has half-back Neil Alexander from Workington, outside back Lee Patterson from Warrington, and forwards John Hill and Gareth Jones from St Helens and Wigan respectively.
Sunday's Widnes friendly costs 5 for adults and 2 concessions, and a 'meet the players' and race night follows at Victory Park on Friday January 23. For details call 01257 263406.