Warrington Wolves: 'Champion' Kurt Gidley impresses Tony Smith

Kurt Gidley
Kurt Gidley ended his 15-year association with Newcastle Knights when he left for Warrington this winter

Winter import Kurt Gidley has already shown his value to Warrington Wolves following his move from Newcastle Knights, says head coach Tony Smith.

The ex-Kangaroos full-back, 33, ended a 15-year association with the Knights this winter to join the Wolves.

Gidley is one of five new faces to take on Widnes on Sunday, along with Tom Lineham, Jack Hughes, Benjamin Jullien and Jordan Cox.

"He's a champion fella and player," Smith told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"He's played in this part of the world with the Kangaroos, he's settled in and our lovely weather has not been a shock to him.

Ben Currie
Ben Currie was nominated for Young Player of the Year after a fine 2015 season

"Just the quality and the experience he brings, he's calm, down to earth and there are some really good lessons for some of the young guys to play alongside somebody of his calibre."

Alongside the newcomers in a strong squad for the festive friendly is England back-rower Ben Currie, who marked a remarkable 2015 season with a Young Player nomination and a call-up to squad for the New Zealand Test series.

Currie, 21, scored 19 tries in 31 games for Smith's side in all competitions last term, not enough to earn him a first cap in Steve McNamara's international unit.

"He didn't get to play in the England squad - he was part of the squad and the set up," added Smith.

"He's a little disappointed he didn't get a run because he would have fared well, but he's keen to get out there and get back in.

"He had a terrific year last year, had a bit of a break but it's a way to impress."