Tony Smith insists Higham move was never about cash

Warrington coach Tony Smith has insisted that his club were not being greedy when they received a £50,000 transfer fee from Leigh for Mickey Higham on Wednesday.

Smith is clearly unhappy that Higham has left the club, and has previously taken aim at Leigh’s handling of the situation.

Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont today expressed discontent with recent comments from Smith and his assistant Richard Agar in regard to the transfer.

But Smith insists that money was not a motivation of the Wolves when it came to the deal.

“We weren’t after transfer fees, that’s not what we’re about,” he said.

“We want people who are 100 per cent committed. I suppose the compensation is there to try and stop people coming in and trying to take your players when they’re under contract, rather than a money-making situation.

“We weren’t after a money-making situation, but we did want to be compensated for when a club comes in and takes one of your only two hookers for the season, when you go into the season with only two hookers and you’re not going to let them march out the door for nothing.”

Smith is pleased that Brad Dwyer has returned to the Wolves, after a period when the atmosphere at Warrington does not seem to have been that happy.

“It hasn’t been a pleasant period for the club and players, when a player decides to do that mid-season” he said.

“But the fortunate thing is we’ve got Brad Dwyer back, originally on a month’s loan, back from London, who we’ve loaned him to for the season, but we’ve since negotiated a compensation deal with London and we’ve got him back for the rest of the year.

“We’re delighted that we’ve found a suitable replacement, someone who’s been in our system for a number of years.

“Somebody who’s really well liked, somebody who is 100 per cent committed to the cause, and we’re delighted to have Brad back.

“He’s in good form. He was man of the match at the weekend for us. Hopefully he can build on that throughout the remainder of the year.”

Leigh will face Warrington in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, after coming from 24-6 down to beat Wakefield 36-30 on Sunday.

Smith did not feel that the result was really that much of a shock.

“They certainly let a winning score slip, but poor old Wakefield haven’t been the best of teams this year, and Leigh have been at the top of the Championship,” he said.

“I don’t know if it was totally surprising, but after the first half scoreline I’d go along with that.

“But I don’t think it was such a huge shock, Leigh had already beaten a Super League team this year, who were sitting higher than Wakefield, so the shock value has gone out of it.

“But after the lead that Wakefield squandered, yes it was most definitely [a shock].”

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