Michael Smith helped lead England to the Cazoo World Cup of Darts semi-finals in Frankfurt last weekend, but he wasn’t the only member of his family representing their country on the sporting stage.
Smith’s cousin, Paige Travis, who plays rugby league for St Helens, was featuring for England women on Saturday, just hours before Smith took to the oche at the Eissporthalle.
Travis came off the bench in England’s emphatic 36-10 victory over France, as the hosts ran over seven tries at Warrington to continue their World Cup preparations in style.
Later that day, Smith fired in a ton-plus average in claiming a 4-0 win over Latvia’s Nauris Gleglu, sealing England’s spot in the quarter-finals and capping off a proud day for the Smith family.
“She’s been playing amazing for St Helens, and she is racking up those caps now for England,” said Smith, who was competing alongside James Wade at this year’s World Cup of Darts.
“The wife and the kids went down to Warrington to watch it, so I was literally getting a kick-by-kick update. They really enjoyed it.
“With me representing my country as well, it was a proud day for the family."
Smith has enjoyed a remarkable run of recent results, picking up five titles in as many weeks, including a fifth European Tour triumph and a second TV title at the US Darts Masters in New York.
The 31-year-old was featuring in his third World Cup last weekend, whitewashing John Henderson en route to dumping out reigning champions Scotland in the last eight.
Smith and Wade were beaten by eventual champions Australia in the semi-finals, with Damon Heta recovering from 3-1 down to edge out the St Helens star in the opening Singles rubber.
However, Smith has backed Travis to enjoy her own taste of World Cup action later this year, with the Rugby League Women's World Cup set to get underway on home soil in the Autumn.
The 22-year-old back row, who made her international debut in June 2021, has been a revelation since making the move to St Helens, scoring 15 tries in just 20 appearances.
“Paige is doing amazingly. I think she is going to go to the World Cup as well, that’s how good she is,” Smith added.
“She is one of the best players in the league, let alone England, so she deserves every opportunity she gets at the minute.
“Just putting on an England shirt is unreal. You want to win and do what you do best, and she is doing it.”