The premiership-winning Wigan forward has joined the Raiders on a three-year deal following a strong season in the Super League, with Canberra bolstering their lock options by adding the one-time English representative.
Smithies won't be able to walk into a starting role on the Raiders' front line however, with his biggest selection rival set to come in the form of Origin lock Corey Horsburgh.
Also able to play in the second-row or as a prop, Smithies is set to show he's ready to have an impact down under from the get-go.
"Yeah, 100 per cent. That is the aim, the reason why I am here, and it's everyone's aim," Smithies told News Corp of his plans to feature in the Raiders' Round 1 meeting with Newcastle.
"I see myself as a number 13 but I can play back row, or anywhere really.
"... There will be a bit of competition for positions. But that makes you train harder and with that comes improvement.
"I don't think it's a bad thing that there is a challenge for spaces. I just have to work hard and show what I can do in the pre-season."
The 23-year-old quickly made a name for himself in his home nation at just 18 years of age when he recorded 72 tackles in a 62-minute stint for Wigan against Salford in his debut campaign.
Smithies brings over 100 games of Super League experience to Staurt's squad for next year, with the Raiders looking to improve on their 13-win season.
Canberra'a season opener against Newcastle could see Smithies face fellow Wigan product Kai Pearce-Paul, who also featured in the Warriors' title-winning Super League Final against over Catalans Dragons.