Homesick Smith quits Wasps after two games

FORMER rugby league star Lee Smith has left London Wasps – just two matches into his rugby union career.

The 23-year-old former England international has made a request to return home to Leeds to be closer to his family.

Smith joined the club in December last year, but played just two senior matches under the union code, turning out against Newcastle and Scarlets as well as two more matches for the A side.

Wasps director of rugby, Tony Hanks, said: “As a Club we support Lee’s desire to return home to his family and we thank him for his efforts with the club.

“Everyone at Wasps wishes him the very best in the next stage of his career.”

Of his decision, Smith said: “I would like to thank London Wasps for giving me the opportunity to have a go at playing rugby union. Unfortunately things have not worked out for me and I am returning home to be closer to my family.

“I have made some good friends at Wasps and I would like to wish the players and coaching staff all the best for the remainder of the season.”

l Meanwhile, Leicester’s former All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger has announced his retirement from rugby with a persistent back injury.

The 29-year-old vice-captain made 53 appearances for the Welford Road club since making the switch after the 2007 World Cup.

“After many specialist treatments I have been unable to regain full fitness,” said 45-cap Mauger.
“Unfortunately retiring now seems the last but only realistic option.”