Leigh Centurions: Loyal half-backs keep squad numbers

Leigh half-back Martyn Ridyard. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Leigh half-back Martyn Ridyard. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography

PAUL Rowley admitted he had to make some tough decisions when deciding on the Centurions squad numbers for 2016.

The list, featuring a handful of high profile new recruits was revealed last week.

“There is a definite indication of my strongest 17,” said Rowley.

“Numbers are important. For example I played hooker for my entire career but was named 18 here when Leigh were in Super League because the numbers were handed out alphabetically.

“That seriously bothered me. It doesn’t make any difference when you’re out on the pitch but you grow proud of the number.”

Rowley also said that his half-backs Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley were never going to lose their six and seven shirts despite the arrival of Rangi Chase.

“When I am picking numbers you have to look at a few things,” he explained. “One of the main ones is taking a number from one player and giving it to someone else. Is the advantage of that outweighing the disadvantage of the unrest it would cause?

“Ridy and Ryan would never have lost their shirts. They have been too good, too loyal and with me as long as I’ve been coach. They have never let me down. Therefore I wouldn’t dream of taking their shirts.

“On Rangi’s arrival quite early in the piece we sat down together and indicated the six and seven would remain and asked him what were his thoughts on it.

“He went away and said ‘yes I think you’re right, it’s a good idea’ and he said he’d like 23. So I said fair play to him and it made it easy. He could have dug his heels in but he didn’t. I would rather people be happy and involved in making decisions.”

Centurions squad numbers: 1 Gregg McNally, 2 Adam Higson, 3 Greg Worthington, 4 Willie Tonga, 5 Liam Kay, 6 Martyn Ridyard, 7 Ryan Brierley, 8 Fuifui Moimoi, 9 Bob Beswick, 10 Dayne Weston, 11 Harrison Hansen, 12 Gareth Hock, 13 Cory Paterson, 14 Micky Higham, 15 Jonny Pownall, 16 Reni Maitua, 17 Jamie Acton, 18 Tom Spencer, 19 Lewis Foster, 20 Sam Hopkins, 21 Andrew Dixon, 22 Mathias Pala, 23 Rangi Chase, 24 Tom Armstrong, 25 Eze Harper, 29 Jake Emmitt, 30 Sam Barlow