Fuifui Factor grips Centurions

Tonga's Fuifui Moimoi celebrates victory with Brent Kite during last year's Rugby League World Cup.
Tonga's Fuifui Moimoi celebrates victory with Brent Kite during last year's Rugby League World Cup.

PAUL Rowley says the Fuifui effect is already having an impact on Leigh Centurions even though the Tongan forward hasn’t yet arrived on these shores.

Leigh were the talk of the rugby league world after they pulled off a huge coup by signing Fuifui Moimoi from Parramatta Eels.

It was all a bit surreal admitted Centurions coach Rowley. “There I was on Sunday morning having my poached eggs and toast reading in the national papers about Leigh Centurions,” he said.

“Then I switched the iPad on and read about Leigh Centurions on the Sydney Morning Herald website. Media-wise it has got us huge attention and shows that as a club we are being seen in a positive way. We’re gaining a good reputation and becoming recognisable as a brand.”

Rowley says he can’t wait to welcome the powerhouse forward to Leigh. “For us to get a player of the standard of Fuifui has a great effect on the players,” said Rowley.

“He is someone who will bring out the best in others and the young players will really benefit from having him around.”

Moimoi will meet his new team-mates for the first time during a warm weather training camp in Tenerife and is expected to make his Leigh debut in a friendly against Wigan Warriors on January 18.

+ Leigh have lined up another pre-season friendly for January 25 against North Wales Crusaders.

Centurions will also face Wigan on January 18 and Oldham on February 8 at the Sports Village.

+ Leigh Centurions have produced a yearbook which arrives just in time for Christmas.

An ideal gift for Centurions fans, the 108 page pocket sized yearbook is a bargain stocking filler for only £6.

It contains a mix of articles and historical pieces and some fantastic photographs looking back on the 2014 season and placing it into context in the club’s history.

There is a complete list of every player to play for Leigh from 1895 including their heritage number and career record, representative honours and a club records section.

Articles include contributions from coach Paul Rowley, head of rugby Derek Beaumont and captain Oliver Wilkes.

And the squad pen pictures are right up to date with photographs and the inclusion of recent signing Fuifui Moimoi.

The book is the brainchild of club historian Mike Latham.

“2014 was a momentous year for the club and hopefully people will enjoy reading this yearbook for many years to come as a reminder of the great times we all enjoyed,” he said.

“I wanted to mark the fantastic achievements of Paul and his staff and players and hopefully we have managed to achieve that.”

The yearbook will be available from the club’s retail unit in Leigh Market by this weekend. The Heritage Numbers booklet is also back on sale.

+ LONG serving Leigh winger Steve Maden is embarking on his testimonial year.

As part of his fund-raising activities, a race night is being held on Saturday January 20 at Golborne Parkside rugby club.

A calendar, featuring some revealing images of Centurions players, has also been produced and is due to go on sale soon from the club’s retail unit in Leigh Market.

To keep track of the testimonial events, you can follow him on Twitter at: @Madotestimonial and see his website: steveironmaden.co.uk. You can also find out more on Facebook by searching for Steve “iron” Maden.