Titans head queue for Smith

Gold Coast Titans are eyeing a move for Wigan's stand-off Tim Smith, who is expected to return Down Under at the end of the season.

Smith arrived at the JJB Stadium midway through last year determined to resurrect his career after going into rehab and being diagnosed with the manic depressive illness bipolar disorder.

Now sources in Australia claim Gold Coast Titans are favourites to land the 24-year-old, who was released by Parramatta Eels a year ago.

Smith has caught the eye with some impressive performances for Wigan this term, but he looks certain to resume his NRL career when his current deal expires in October.

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Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan confirmed he had spoken to Smith's agent David Riolo, who is also fielding interest from Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm.

Lenagan said: "Tim is playing very well right now and he has shown some good form, but the plan is for him to return to Australia later this year.

"That was always the agreement, to come to Wigan for a year-and-a-half, because he came to England to try to get his career back on track.

"He is a player of outstanding talent and I suppose there is a slight possibility things could change if Tim changes his mind, but there was no indication of that when I spoke to David Riolo a couple of weeks ago.

"Tim's a surf and sun boy and it looks pretty certain he will be going back to Australia."

But youngster Sam Tomkins has shown himself to be a long-term successor to the No.6 slot, with the 20-year-old producing some highly promising performances.

Lenagan added: "There are many encouraging signs, not least the form shown by youngsters Sam Tomkins and Shaun Ainscough.

"We were determined to give them a chance and we have."

Last night, Tomkins was cleared to play against Hull KR at the JJB on Friday after avoiding suspension.

The 20-year-old was found guilty at the RFL's disciplinary committee of kicking out in the tackle during the Challenge Cup win at Wakefield and was fined 300, but it was decided not to impose a ban.

Wigan face a stern test against second-placed Hull KR, but Noble's men have won their last four games and victory should fire them into the top half of Super League.

Noble said: "At last we are building a good momentum and that's very important."

The Challenge Cup quarter-final tie against Salford at the JJB Stadium will be played on Friday, May 29 (8pm).