Sam Hopkins has returned to Leigh on a month long loan deal from Wigan Warriors.
Hopkins, 24, originally joined the Centurions ahead the 2010 season. A highly rated young second row forward at the time, Hopkins came through the ranks at Leigh East and had represented the Great Britain Community Lions Under-18s as they toured Australia. Upon his return, he then became a regular for East’s first team.
After enjoying a steady first season with the club, Hopkins was rewarded for his efforts with a first team squad number for 2011 and made his Centurions debut against Hull Dockers in the Challenge Cup. He also began playing more regularly in the front row. It proved a good move for Hopkins as he pushed his way past a couple of players into the first team reckoning, and eventually got himself noticed by Super League Champions Wigan Warriors.
Hopkins scored 26 tries in 65 appearances for Leigh and though he signed for Wigan in a two-year deal in June 2013 he saw out the season with the Centurions, playing a big part in their Northern Rail Cup Final defeat of Sheffield Eagles at Halifax.
Speaking of Hopkins’ return to Leigh, Head Coach Paul Rowley said: “We have a sickness bug in the camp at the moment, and have lost two more players due to tonsillitis, so it was a good time for the squad to receive a shot in the arm and a welcome boost.”
“We still see Sam as our player, he knows what we are about, and he isn’t getting much game-time at the moment, so we’re keen to have him back in our ranks to provide extra cover and competition over another tough period.”
Hopkins will be eligible to play for The Centurions this weekend in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup as Leigh face Rochdale Hornets at Spotland on Sunday (2pm).
Speaking about the news, Wigan Warriors rugby manager Kris Radlinski said:“The one month loan provides Sam with an opportunity to get some important game time in a tough Championship competition. Sam has worked extremely hard since becoming a full time professional and is making huge strides with us but he needs to play regularly and this agreement with Leigh works well for all parties concerned. “