Former Eels No. 7 Tim Smith is set to relaunch his career with English powerhouse Wigan after agreeing to terms with the Warriors. The troubled Smith, believed by many to have unlimited potential has seemingly kicked the Eels in the guts after claiming illness and opting out of a lucrative playing contract only to walk into a UK Super League deal months later.
The deal takes place immediately and Tim Smith, 23, will link up with his new teammates at Wigan within days.
The new deal incorporates the rest of the 2008 season and the 2009 Super League season.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan comfirmed Smith’s signing on the club’s website. A handy aquisition for Wigan after losing Trent Barrett early. Smith will eventually link up with former teammate Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell when he joins the Wigan ranks in the 2009 season.
“Tim is a talented half-back with an excellent kicking game and an outstanding record in try assists in the NRL,” Lenagan said.
“His signing for 2009 means that Wigan will have three kicking playmakers in Tommy Leuluai, Mark Riddell and Tim to help fill the gap caused by Trent Barrett’s early departure.”
Lenagan acknowledged Smith recent health problems which saw him leave the Eels.
“We acknowledge some risks – reflected in the contract – in signing Tim after his early-season illness difficulties, but Tim now feels ready to relaunch his rugby league career away from the Sydney media pressure,” he said.
Smith said he was looking forward to joining Wigan and was grateful to the club for giving him the opportunity.
“My aim is to impress the management, coaching staff and fans and to win something with Wigan,” Smith said.
“My personal problems have been well documented but they are now behind me and I want to concentrate only on playing footy.”