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Wigan Warriors star’s exit all but confirmed

Wigan Warriors keep adding to their excellent transfer business ahead of the 2024 Super League season.

It should be noted that Wigan are losing a lot of star power too, but the club have been very proactive in replacing the big names they are set to lose this winter.

Take Toby King for instance. After an excellent loan spell at the club which yielded the Grand Final trophy, the England international will return to Warrington Wolves.

But Wigan have snapped up one of the league’s best centres in 2023 to replace him in the shape of Catalans Dragons star Adam Keighran who will be joined by Tiaki Chan from the Dragons as well.

The Warriors have also signed former Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants hooker Kruise Leeming with Cade Cust set for the exit door and possibly followed by Sam Powell.

Matt Peet has worked hard to boost Wigan’s pack ahead of next year signing the likes of Tyler Dupree and Sam Walters but Wigan are set to lose one of their biggest stars in the shape of loose-forward Sam Eseh.

The prop featured 16 times for Wakefield in 2023, was handed a first team contract in January 2021, rewarding his progress through the Trinity Scholarship and Academy ranks where he was under the tutelage of Mark Applegarth.

The East Leeds Community Club product carried off the 2022 Championship Young Player of the Year prize after impressing on loan at Barrow, then Featherstone. Eseh, who is 6’4″, beat London Broncos halfback Oli Leyland and York winger AJ Towse to the seasonal second-tier award.

An excellent signing for the club but one that no doubt points to Smithies’ exit especially with Luke Thompson also coming through the door this year as well.

Canberra Raiders are set to pay a six figure fee to Wigan to secure Smithies’ release prior to agreeing a deal for the loose-forward.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the deal is set to be agreed sooner rather than later for the loose-forward after he played a crucial role in guiding Wigan to Grand Final glory against Catalans Dragons nearly two weeks ago in a performance from Smithies that many felt was Man of the Match worthy.

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