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Wasps sign league star Smith

Wasps announce the signing of Leeds Rhinos’ and England rugby league star Lee Smith.

Lee Smith joins Wasps in November form Leeds Rhinos

Lee Smith joins Wasps in November form Leeds Rhinos

Smith will join the men in black and gold in November at the close of the 08-09 league season and commits to the Guinness Premiership side until the close of 2011/12.

The 22 year old England International, a product of Leeds Academy, made his senior debut for the club in March 2005 and scored 42 tries in 88 appearances playing at full back, wing and centre. He was called up to the England rugby league squad for last year’s World Cup in Australia where he scored three tries in two appearances and was part of the Leeds Rhinos side that secured the title last year over St Helens, claiming the Man of the Match Award for his efforts.

A versatile player, Lee can play at full back or on the wing and last year further showed his talent and adaptability with the Rhinos moving to centre in the game against Castleford. Demonstrating his maturity he took to the midfield well scored a try and three goals and has since occupied that position with the side

Lee has also represented England at U17 and U18 level, with whom he won the Australian Test match, the first time the side had accomplished victory on their soil, and marked his 18th birthday with a man of the match performance against New Zealand.

He joins Wasps and switches codes, after seven seasons with the Rhinos, in search of his next challenge. His arrival in November adds further depth to an already impressive back division set to take to the field for an exciting 2009/10 season.

Fully focused on his efforts with the Rhinos until the end of their season, Lee is still relishing the opportunity to join Wasps and is excited by the new path his career is set to take.

“A move to London Wasps is a massive challenge for me, not only as a rugby league player moving to union, but also leaving Leeds for London. Wasps are one of the biggest Clubs in the Guinness Premiership and have some of the best players in England. The opportunity to train alongside players of such calibre with a coaching team of Tony Hanks and Shaun Edwards couldn’t be missed. I have enjoyed some great success at Leeds Rhinos and Wasps were the obvious choice with their history of success in the Premiership and Europe.”

On Wasps latest new signing, Director of Rugby Tony Hanks said, “Lee is a quality player who will again add strength to our squad for the upcoming season. While still only 22, he has developed an impressive CV already with Leeds and England in rugby league and we are excited about the skill set and experience he will bring with him. Working alongside someone like Shaun (Edwards), who has worked in both codes, will of course be a massive benefit to Lee and we look forward to welcoming him to the Club in November.”