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Morgan Smithies will join the Canberra Raiders in 2024.

Raiders recruit Morgan Smithies is set to play for England in the third Test against Tonga at Headingley before moving to Canberra to take up a three-year contract.

Smithies, who helped Wigan to Super League grand final glory against Catalans, has been called into the England squad, along with Warrington rookie Josh Thewlis.

Smithies will join the Raiders next season after the club announced on Tuesday that he had signed a three-year deal.

The 22-year-old back-rower made his England debut in April's 64-0 defeat of France and his second Test appearance caps a stunning year in which he helped Wigan secure a League Leaders’ Shield and Super League grand final double.

“I’m really pleased to be able to bring both Morgan and Josh into our squad for the final game against Tonga," England coach Shaun Wane said.

England and Wigan star Morgan Smithies will join Canberra on a three-year deal
England and Wigan star Morgan Smithies will join Canberra on a three-year deal ©SWPix

“Morgan has had a terrific season with Wigan and impressed me earlier this year when he wore the England shirt for the first time, and Josh is coming in on the back of a breakthrough year with Warrington.

“Both players are very versatile and offer me some options in key positions ahead of the third Test.

"Our players have endured a long season and there are little knocks here and there so it’s important we bolstered the squad in this final week."

Smithies has been with the Warriors since joining the Wigan Scholarship from amateur club Siddal ARLFC in 2015 but it became clear that his ambitions lay in the NRL, and earlier this year he signed with an Australian agent, Liam Ayoub.

England v Mate Ma'a Tonga - Game 2

“Morgan came to see us a couple of months ago and told us about an opportunity that had arisen in the NRL," Wigan CEO Kris Radlinski said.

"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.”

Smithies made 114 appearances for Wigan since debuting in 2019 against Catalans and leaves with a Super League premiership, a Challenge Cup and two League Leaders’ Shields.

England v Mate Ma'a Tonga - Game 1

In return, Wigan have received a significant transfer fee from the Raiders.

“I can’t thank Wigan enough for what they have done in my rugby league career to date," Smithies said.

"Joining Wigan in the Scholarship and coming through to debut for the club, playing over 100 games for the club, and now leaving as a Challenge Cup and Super League winner – I couldn’t have asked for more.

"I now get to move on to the next part of my career and achieve a goal of playing in the NRL. 

“I have been able to achieve so much at this Club through the guidance of Matty Peet, Shaun Wane, Adrian Lam and Kris Radlinski.

"I would not have the opportunity to go and play in the NRL without Wigan, and the support of these men." 

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.