Leigh Centurions: Players get back to work

Leigh Centurions celebrate winning the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders' Shield
Leigh Centurions celebrate winning the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders' Shield

LEIGH are back in full-time training ahead of the 2016 season.

The new-look squad met for a season overview meeting last Friday before beginning training on Monday morning.

Several players are missing as they recover from off-season operations, while others have been given extended leave to visit their families overseas.

Coach Paul Rowley says it’s an exciting time, especially with several new players added to the mix, including former Salford trio Remi Maitua, Harrison Hansen and Cory Paterson. Dayne Weston, the ex-Melbourne Storm forward, has also linked up with his new team-mates after arriving from Australia last week.

Rowley said: “Friday gave us the opportunity to meet up and we presented our overview for the season.

“We talked not just about the training schedule but also about what it means to play for Leigh and the culture of the club.

“It is important that the club continues to have a positive influence on the town and this was explained to the new players.

“All the players who underwent operations are ahead of schedule, while others have been given extended leave.”

Rowley says he and his coaching team have learned valuable lessons from last year, when the club went full-time for the first time in 10 years. “Going full-time was difficult to get used to initially,” said Rowley.

“Not many of our players had gone through a pre-season as a full-time player but we are better for the experience. We have players joining us from good clubs, with good cultures and habits.

“Someone like Dayne Weston, for example, has been able to share his experiences as a player with a top NRL side with superstar players, like Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.

“We have players who have grown up being nothing other than a rugby league professional, while others have turned pro more recently. It is a real learning curve.”

Meanwhile Bradford have signed prop forward Jonny Walker following his release from Leigh.

Walker was under contract until this month and the club chose not to take up an option on another year.