WILL Smith brings "class and experience" to Western Suburbs but coach Rick Stone described the potential addition of another former NRL player Brad Takairangi as "a bit of a long shot".
Smith was due to join the Rosellas at pre-season training this week after signing a Newcastle Rugby League contract for 2024.
Stone confirmed the deal on Tuesday.
"He's a pretty high-class player for this competition with some serious NRL experience," Stone told the Newcastle Herald.
"Someone who is a Wests junior, which makes it a little bit easier for us as well. It's a good fit for us."
As club juniors Smith and, likely halves partner, Luke Walsh are both worth nothing in the Newcastle RL player points system despite having made a combined 311 appearances across NRL and English Super League.
Stone described Smith as a "really good all-round player who can play a number of positions".
The 31-year-old, an Indigenous All Stars representative who was born in Newcastle, most recently played four NRL games for the Wests Tigers in 2023.
In terms of Takairangi, Stone says: "I've had a chat to him about possibly coming with Will and he said unlikely if Will didn't sign, but now Will's signed we'll probably ask the question again I reckon".
Elsewhere, prop Jake O'Meley returns to Wyong from Lakes.