Morgan Smithies confirmed departure for NRL move: 'I will always be a Wigan Warrior'

Wigan Warriors Grand Final winner Morgan Smithies has joined Canberra Raiders for a ‘significant transfer fee’ ahead of the 2024 NRL season on a three-year deal.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The 22-year-old has enjoyed 114 appearances for the club since his debut in 2019 against Catalans Dragons, with his final game in Cherry and White against the same opposition at Old Trafford.

Read More
Owen Farrell backed to 'dominate' rugby league by former Warriors star

He started at loose forward in the 10-2 victory over Steve McNamara’s side in the 2023 Super League Grand Final.

Morgan Smithies of Wigan Warriors lifts the Super League trophyMorgan Smithies of Wigan Warriors lifts the Super League trophy
Morgan Smithies of Wigan Warriors lifts the Super League trophy
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The academy product also won a Challenge Cup and two League Leaders’ Shields during his time with the first team.

Wigan confirmed that they knew of Smithies’ ambitions to play in the NRL earlier this year after he signed with an Australian agent, despite a contract extension offer from Wigan.

Chief executive Kris 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 that 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.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“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.”

On his departure, Smithies commented: “I can’t thank Wigan enough for what they have done for me in my rugby league career to date.

"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 to play 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 an opportunity to go and play in the NRL without Wigan and the support of these men.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To Adrian for giving me, as a teenager, my debut and first opportunity. To Matty, who has coached me since 15 years old and played a major role in my development as a rugby player. I can’t thank him enough for his support to me on and off the field and for his understanding and support in assisting with this NRL opportunity. I am glad we were able to finish with a Grand Final to go out on a high together.

“I also want to thank Kris Radlinski, Ian Lenagan and my agent Liam Ayoub for their efforts to work this out behind the scenes whilst I maintained my sole focus on helping this club reach the heights we have been able to in 2023.

“And to the Wigan fans, I am glad we brought home the title to Wigan. I will always be a Wigan Warrior and can’t wait to see you all support the boys next year as they attempt to win another World Club Challenge and aim to go back-to-back.”