WARRIORS today swooped to sign Matty Smith from Salford - and the half-back is poised to make his debut against Wakefield this Sunday.
Wigan had already lined-up the ex-St Helens man to replace Thomas Leuluai next season.
But Leuluai’s knee injury - which will keep him out until mid-August at the earliest - prompted the Warriors to act.
They agreed a transfer fee with the Reds last night to snare Smith immediately.
And he will come straight into the team which takes on the Wildcats at Belle Vue this Sunday.
Official confirmation is expected later today, when Shaun Wane names him in his 19-man squad.
The Wigan players are off today (Friday) - Smith will link-up with his new team-mates for the first time tomorrow.
Smith will not be able to play against Leeds in the Challenge Cup semi-final next week, or the final should Wigan reach Wembley.
The registration deadline for mid-season recruits was the Monday prior to the quarter-final, the RFL confirmed this morning.
Smith, who played for England last Wednesday, surfaced on Wigan’s radar earlier this season and the Wigan Evening Post revealed weeks ago that the club had secured his services for next season - despite denials from the parties involved.
Leuluai’s knee injury - suffered playing for the Exiles against England last month - and a lack of halfback cover prompted the Warriors to act now.
Smith’s arrival will allow Sean O’Loughlin to revert to his preferred loose forward role.