Leigh half-back Ben Reynolds has joined Dewsbury on loan for 2016.
The talented 21-year-old goalkicking halfback joined Leigh last autumn from Castleford Tigers having impressed in a dual registration contract at Kingstone Press Championship One League Leaders York City Knights in 2014. Ben was joint Championship One Young Player of the Year and also selected in the Championship One All Star Team as well as being one of the nominations for Championship One Player of the Year.
As part of the agreement he will not be allowed to play against his parent Club in 2016.
A former Knottingley and Featherstone Lions ARL product, he graduated through the academy ranks at Castleford and made two Super League appearances for the Tigers.
Ben’s first-team opportunities at Leigh were restricted in 2015 due the excellent form of fullback Gregg McNally and halfbacks Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley, but despite this he extended his initial one-year contract in June 2015 and is now contracted to the Centurions until November 2018.
Reynolds made eight appearances for the Centurions in 2015, scoring three tries and kicking six goals. He earned Heritage Number 1398 after an impressive debut off the bench against Halifax in May and scored the 228th and final try of Leigh’s season in the Super 8s qualifier against Widnes Vikings. He also spent time on loan at Doncaster during the season.
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont revealed that his relationship with Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer and head coach Paul Rowley’s respect for Glenn Morrison, his counterpart at Dewsbury, had played a big part in the loan arrangement.
Mr Beaumont said: “Ben is a talent in the making and it is important we continue his development at the right level. Ben didn’t get enough game time with us last season as everything was working well and injuries only played their part late into the Middle 8s when he stepped up to the plate.
“We have given Ben a three-year deal because we believe in him and are confident he will reach his full potential as he gets older and more experienced, but he must get continuous quality game time to achieve that experience. At this stage the best prospect of that on a regular basis is a consistent loan deal where Ben can improve and demonstrate his skills.
“He has worked hard last year and committed himself, moving over to Leigh to be closer for all the full-time training. Ben will continue as a full-time player, training at Leigh on a full-time basis and will receive the same review from our coaching team.
“Dewsbury are a very good, competitive side that are well coached and play some nice rugby. No one person has all the answers and I believe the more information you can absorb from different individuals the better you can become. This is a positive step for Ben and will ultimately benefit him, Dewsbury and Leigh in the long term.
“There were a couple of clubs wanting Ben on loan last season that expressed an interest this season. I have a good relationship with Mark at Dewsbury and Rolls has respect for Glenn and the camp that they run, so it all seemed to fit really well.
“Ben is motivated and keen to take on the challenge to continue to improve himself on the journey to his goal of playing regular Super League rugby. He has time on his side and a settled future with his contract and belief here at Leigh. I know the Dewsbury fans will take to him as their own and he will do them extremely proud as above everything Ben is a really great guy and that counts for more than anything.”