Centurions release Gardner and Ostick

Matt Gardner has been released by Leigh Centurions
Matt Gardner has been released by Leigh Centurions
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MICHAEL Ostick and Matt Gardner have been released by Leigh Centurions with immediate effect.

Gardner, 29, is a vastly experienced three-quarter who has scored 26 tries in 58 appearances for the Centurions since his debut in 2012. Prop forward Ostick, 26, scored five tries in 54 appearances. Neither player has appeared in the Centurions first team this season after having their pre-seasons disrupted by injury.

Barrow born Gardner made a total of 35 Super League appearances for three clubs (Castleford, 2004), Huddersfield (2006-07) and Harlequins (2009) and has also played for Barrow (loan), Salford, Widnes and his native Cumbria, scoring 82 tries in 189 career appearances after starting out in the Leeds Rhinos Academy ranks.

Whiston born Ostick came through the ranks at Widnes St Maries and also made his Centurions debut in 2012 having previously played for Widnes, Barrow (loan), Rochdale Hornets and Halifax and has scored 12 tries in 125 career appearances.

Both players featured in the Centurions side that defeated Sheffield Eagles 43-28 in the 2013 Northern Rail Cup Final at Halifax.

Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “Matt has been a fine servant to the club and always played a good strong game, giving a good account of himself. It is unfortunate that he suffered the injury he did which has seen him unable to feature for the club this year.

“I believe in doing right by the player and on this occasion that is to allow Matt to look at new ventures and progress to a return to professional sport if that is an avenue he decides to go down. Whatever Matt does I am sure he will be successful because that is his nature. He is a top bloke who will always be welcome around the club.”

Mr Beaumont added: “Sport can be very cruel and the situation with Michael is a clear example of that. At the end of last season Michael was showing fine form and was leading the way very strongly shoulder to shoulder with Tom Spencer. Unfortunately his injury has prevented him continuing that fine form and getting into contention to regain a first team place.

“Michael is a really honest guy and it is only right that we deal with him respecting that honesty and allow him to look early at his short term future. Our reserves are again facing the academies and it isn’t really the stage that will see Michael return to the form of which he is capable.

“I have no doubt he will prove himself again in the Championship such the challenging person he is and he is one we will certainly keep our eye on. I wish Michael well in everything he does and would like to thank him for his exemplary service to our club.

Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley added: “Both players have been here throughout my time as head coach and I am really grateful for their contributions over the past two-and-a-half years. Unfortunately injuries have contributed to both players having disjointed seasons so far, but both have remained positive and integral to the team dynamic.

“It was important to let them know early of our decision so that they can sort out their futures. They are two good players who are now heading in different directions. My gratitude goes to both for their contributions on and off the field. They have both been very supportive of me and my staff and I will maintain contact with both of them and know they will both remain good friends of mine.”