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Warriors swoop for Quins wing Smith, but Matavesi nears Ospreys switch
HARLEQUINS winger Sam Smith has agreed a summer switch to Worcester after signing up to be a part of Dean Ryan’s Warriors revolution.
However, it looks likely to be a case of one in, one out at Sixways with Fijian centre Josh Matavesi set for a move to Welsh regional side The Ospreys.
Former England under 20s international Smith, 23, is poised to link up with Worcester and is another up-and-coming player to buy into director of rugby Ryan’s vision for the club’s future.
The 6ft 2ins Smith, who has scored 23 tries in 66 appearances for Quins, is surplus to requirements at The Stoop and has been told he will be released at the end of his contract as his current club line up a bid for London Irish’s England flier Marland Yarde.
He fits the profile of player that Ryan is looking to attract to Worcester in that he is young, has a point to prove and is English-qualified.
The speedster’s arrival follows hot on the heels of news that Warriors have signed fellow young guns Matt Cox and Ryan Mills from local rivals Gloucester.
Former Exeter and Racing Metro midfielder Matavesi was recruited by Richard Hill, but is out of contract in the summer and Ryan was cagey when asked about the player’s Sixways future.
He said: “Josh has choices to make about his future at the club and Ryan’s arrival makes a statement about what it looks like at this club next year.
“Those choices sit with Josh and they always have done. This isn’t recruitment on brinkmanship, it is about something we are setting out on next year and giving a clear identity of the type of person we want.
“That then allows other people choices and some of those we’ll choose not to be involved in and others might see people choose not to be involved with us.
“Everybody has the ability to go either way and that’s the same with Josh, who will play those out whichever way he thinks best for him.
“I’m not prepared to say whether there’s an offer on the table for Josh. By saying that, people will read into it that there isn’t one.
“A lot of the negotiations with employees are about conversations and along those lines we have positioned it so Josh has a choice to make and that’s left up to him.
“We’ve been quite clear on what we’re doing and what our expectations are and he’s been quite clear about requiring a choice and we respect that.”
Meanwhile, Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies, who was Worcester’s forwards coach under the Hill regime, is keeping tabs on Matavesi’s fellow Fijian centre Ravai Fatiaki.
However, reports Davies was poised to sign Warriors number eight Semisi Taulava, who has also been linked with a switch across the Severn Bridge, are wide of the mark.