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NRL club to pay huge transfer fee for Wigan Warriors star

Three teams have led the way with recruitment ahead of the 2024 Super League season: Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR.

Wigan’s recruitment is perhaps the most worrying given they are already the Super League Champions after defeating Catalans Dragons 10-2 at Old Trafford in the Super League Grand Final.

Wigan have lost a number of key men such as Toby King to parent club Warrington Wolves after his loan spell and Kai Pearce-Paul to the NRL.

The Warriors though have made some major signings for next year. They have replaced King with Catalans Dragons star Adam Keighran and Sam Walters from Leeds Rhinos.

They have also drafted in former Leeds and Huddersfield Giants hooker Kruise Leeming for the 2024 Super League season after his spell at Gold Coast Titans.

They already signed Tyler Dupree from Salford Red Devils in 2023 with Brad Singleton going the other direction.

The Warriors’ biggest signing is undoubtedly that of Luke Thompson. The 2019 Harry Sunderland Award winner has been impressing in the NRL since leaving St Helens in 2020 but is now back in Super League with the Warriors.

Many saw this as a statement signing to add to the Warriors’ already impressive ranks but it appears that the Warriors for the second year in a row will lose a key forward to the NRL.

Last year it was John Bateman joining the Wests Tigers and this year it appears to be Morgan Smithies.

The loose-forward is only 22 years old but already has bags of experience. He was excellent in the Super League Grand Final and is one of the best defenders in the league and his absence from the England squad was a surprise.

Rugby League Live linked him with a move to the Canberra Raiders and now the Daily Telegraph are reporting that a six figure fee is set to be paid to Wigan for the services of Smithies in 2024 and beyond.

This likely makes Luke Thompson a replacement for 2024 moving onwards.

Either way, the Champions will have an excellent squad and appear to be the team to beat in 2024 but will face many challengers especially without Smithies.

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