Wigan Warriors hand new contracts to three playmakers
Wigan have moved to tie down Harry Smith to a long-term deal after his star displays against the Australian Schoolboys - and have handed two first-teamers new contracts.
Sam Powell will reach a decade with his hometown club after signing a new three-year deal.
And, as previously reported, fringe halfback Josh Woods has also agreed new terms but will spend the 2019 season at Championship outfit Leigh.
Woods has signed a three-year deal - the same length of contract handed to Smith, who on Friday kicked five goals for England academy to help beat the touring Aussie Schoolboys 18-6 and secure a series win.
Executive Director Kris Radlinski said: “We’re very pleased that Sam and Josh have committed their futures, as we continue to secure some of our most talented and important players to Wigan Warriors.
“Sam continues to play a key role within the group and is a figure who continues to set standards of what a senior Wigan Warriors player should aspire to be. Josh is one of the country’s most promising half-backs, and a season-long loan at Leigh Centurions will be great for his development.
“Likewise, Harry Smith is player with immense potential, as his recent performances against Australian Schoolboys highlighted.”
Powell has made 162 appearances for his hometown club since making his debut in August 2012.
He said: “Wigan Warriors is a club that is in my heart so signing for this great team was an easy decision for me and my family. Winning trophies is top of my list. It’s an exciting time to be a Wigan player, next season we have our Super League title to defend. A new coaching set up that are bringing fresh ideas and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into 2019.”
Woods made his Wigan debut in May 2017 and figured 10 times last season, mainly as a deputy to injured George Williams.
He said: “I have enjoyed my time here so far and I can’t wait for the next few years at Wigan, learning and developing my game. I’m also excited about spending a season playing for my hometown club Leigh, working alongside John Duffy and gaining great experience in what will be an extremely competitive Championship in 2019.”
Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam said: “Sam (Powell) is a key part of Wigan Warriors going forward. We’re very happy that Sam is the latest player to commit his future to the club. He’s a highly influential player within our group with his professionalism and approach to the game something our younger players can look up to.
“Josh’s progress, especially during last season, has been very encouraging. He has worked hard at improving all aspects of his game and is always striving to be a better player and the time he’ll have out on the field as a young half-back will serve him well. He’s a Leigh lad, and I’m sure he’ll enjoy the challenge of playing for the Centurions next season.”
Academy half-back Smith picked up the Edwards-Johnson Memorial Trophy as Wigan’s 2018 Under-19s Player of the Year after a stand-out season.