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Smith leaves Wakefield for union

Wakefield have released former Leeds and England threequarter Lee Smith to enable him to join Aviva Premiership club Newcastle.

Smith, 27, who won the Super League Grand Final three times in a row with Leeds, is switching codes for the second time, having had a brief spell with Wasps four years ago.

He has signed for the Falcons until the end of the 2014-15 season and joined up with his new team-mates on Monday ahead of this weekend's trip to Harlequins.

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards said: "Lee is a quality signing for the club and is a proven try scorer at the highest level in rugby league.

"I'm confident that he can replicate his talent in the 15-aside code and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him in action in the Aviva Premiership."

Smith, who played for England in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, said: "I'm extremely thankful to Newcastle for giving me the opportunity to play in the Aviva Premiership.

"This is an exciting challenge for me in the North East and I can't wait to get started.

"I'd like to thank (Wakefield chairman) Michael Carter and the club for agreeing to release me from the remainder of my contract to take up this opportunity.

"I'm honoured to have played for a great club over the past 18 months and thank Richard Agar and his coaching staff for all they've done for me during my time at Wakefield."

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