Position: Loose forward
Date of birth: 7/11/2000
Heritage number: 1094
Height: 6ft 1
Previous club: Wigan Academy (Siddal ARLFC)
Representative honours: England Knights
Wigan Debut: vs Catalans Dragons (H), loose forward (sub), won 42-0 at the DW Stadium, 31/03/2019
League Leaders’ Shield: 2020
A hugely talented loose forward who broke the record for the number of tackles made by a player in the Super League era – making a remarkable 72 tackles in a Play-Off win against Salford Red Devils in September 2019.
- Born in Halifax, Smithies learned his Rugby League trade as he played for amateur club Siddal ARLFC.
- The youngster caught the eye of former Warriors Yorkshire scout Tom Bickerton in 2015, as he went on to join the Wigan Scholarship system.
- Smithies settled impressively into the Wigan Academy, whilst also representing England at youth level.
- After winning the 2017 Wigan Warriors Under-16’s Players of the Year Award, the loose forward added an Under-19s Grand Final winners medal in 2018.
- Whilst having a taste of playing at the DW Stadium, Smithies inspired his team with a Man of the Match performance in Wigan’s then record ninth Academy Grand Final win in 11 years.
- In his first year overall at Under-19s level, Smithies made 22 appearances and scored three tries.
- His rapid progression saw him called up to the first team aged 18 as he made his debut for the Club in a 42-0 home win against Catalans Dragons in March 2019. Smithies became the first player born in the current century to play for the Club.
- The Yorkshireman went on to make 23 appearances for Wigan in 2019 and he scored his first try for the Club in the final round of the regular season against Castleford Tigers at the DW Stadium.
- He signed a new four-year deal with Wigan during the 2019 campaign.
- His outstanding debut season in the first team saw him shortlisted for the Super League Young Player of the Year Award, as well as winning the Young Player of the Year Award, alongside fellow young teammate Ollie Partington, at the Club’s End of Season Awards Dinner.
- He was rewarded with a call up to the England Knights squad for the first time in 2019 and started at loose forward in the 38-6 international fixture win over Jamaica in October.
- Another successful season followed for Smithies in 2020, and one that would see him lift his first silverware in the professional game. Making 16 appearances in total, the dynamic back rower helped Wigan to their first League Leaders’ Shield since 2012.