The Sydney Roosters have signed young Penrith backrow/centre utility Chris Smith, effective immediately.
The 22-year-old backrower made his debut for the Panthers last year in the final round against the Knights. Had the Panthers lost that game they would have ended up with the wooden spoon.
Enter Smith. With the game on a knife edge at 14-12, he came up with this to swing the momentum:
Penrith ended up winning the game and avoiding the spoon, with Smith a huge reason why. He was interviewed following that game, and you can find that chat here.
The Roosters are in desperate need of more depth with Boyd Cordner and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves not expected back for at least the next few weeks, and with Dale Copley and Ian Henderson gone for the year. Additionally, off-season young gun signing Ryan Matterson also likely out for the year with a broken leg, leaving the Roosters with just Abraham Papalii in the remaining depth chart when it comes to forwards.
Well, not any more I guess.
The 22 year-old has signed with the Club through to the end of 2017, and Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan believes Smith will be a valuable asset to the Club.
“I’ve admired Chris’ talents for the last four years and we’re pleased to have secured his services,” said O’Sullivan.
“A fast and athletic edge player, Chris adds great depth with his ability to play in the second row, at lock or in the centres and we look forward to watching him develop as part of our squad,” he added.
Smith is a former Australian Schoolboy representative (2012) and made his NRL debut with the Panthers in Round 26 of the 2015 season.