Wigan Warriors have received a ‘significant transfer fee’ for Morgan Smithies which will see the England international join NRL side Canberra Raiders.
The 22-year-old will make the move to Australia with immediate effect, having put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Raiders from 2024.
Smithies came through the ranks at Wigan, making 114 appearances for the Warriors since his first team debut in 2019.
The former Siddal junior won a Super League Grand Final, two League Leaders’ Shields and a Challenge Cup whilst with Wigan as well as making his international debut for England earlier this year.
Wigan say they offered Smithies a contract extension, but that it became clear his ambitions lay in the NRL after signing with an Australian agent earlier this year.
Warriors chief executive Kris Radlinski says the club ‘wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours’ as Smithies prepares to make the move Down Under.
Radlinski said: “Morgan came to see us a couple of months ago and told us about an opportunity that had arisen in the NRL.
“After Morgan expressed ultimate commitment and devotion to achieving Grand Final success in 2023, we said we would consider it at the end of the season.
“During that time, we worked diligently on our recruitment process to ensure that we had appropriate cover for his pending departure. Subsequently, we have now agreed to release him.
“We take immense pride in the role that we have played in nurturing Morgan’s development and we wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours.”
Canberra Raiders delighted to welcome Morgan Smithies to the NRL
Raiders NRL recruitment manager Joel Carbone said: “Morgan has already achieved a lot of success in his short career, and we’re very excited about him joining the club over the next three seasons.
“He’s come from a very strong, successful system, which will put him in good stead in his transition into the NRL.
“We expect him to add substantial value to our team and complement our young core moving forward.
“While he’s only a young man himself, he has already played over 100 first team games, including Super League and Challenge Cup finals, and will come over a Super League champion after their Grand Final win only a few weeks ago.”