FORMER LEEDS Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity winger/full-back Lee Smith has left Leigh Centurions just a week before the start of the season.
Smith scored 12 tries and 36 goals in 23 appearances for Leigh last year, but was released “by mutual consent” yesterday, seven days ahead of their opening Betfred Super League fixture at Castleford Tigers.
Centurions coach Neil Jukes said: “Lee came to the club at a crucial time when the squad was depleted and he went on to play a big role in us winning the league again and getting to the middle-eights. As a coach and as a club we are indebted to Lee for his contribution last season. He came in and immediately provided experience, versatility and solidity across a number of positions and helped us pull everything together.
“He’s also a very good goal-kicker and he came up with some big performances. This year unfortunately things haven’t worked out for Lee in pre-season and we have mutually agreed a compromise.
“Lee is a cracking lad, respectful, well mannered and a gentleman and he leaves with no hard feelings either way.
“Lee and his family will always be welcome at Leigh Centurions in the future.”
Former Grand Final winner Smith, 30, who also had a spell in rugby union, is now a free agent. He said being part of the promotion-winning squad is “something I will hold high in the things I’ve achieved within the game”.