MICKY Higham’s ‘home-coming’ has been greeted with delight by the club’s head of rugby Derek Beaumont.
The hooker today joined Leigh from Warrington on a contract until November 2016 with an option at the club’s discretion for 2017.
Higham, 34, is in contention to make his Centurions second debut in the Kingstone Press Championship Summer Bash game against Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “I am absolutely delighted to have Micky on board. It is no secret I am fully committed to doing what is necessary to build this club into a competitive Super League club.
“Micky’s performances this year for Warrington have been solid and he has been their starting nine, playing in every game and keeping current Man of Steel Daryl Clark behind him.
“It was no secret Micky wanted to finish his career where it all began at his home town club and now the stage to his fairytale ending has been set. Having Sean Penkywicz out with a serious injury that gets an operation on Tuesday seriously dented our plans.
“While Bob Beswick has been absolutely outstanding for 80 minutes per game, particularly against Salford and Wakefield it is not only unfair to expect him to continually perform like that but unrealistic when it comes to the middle 8s.”
Beaumont added: “The coaching team all agreed we needed a top quality player right now. Micky in my opinion is still performing as the best nine in Super League and this is a massive coup for us. He is a great player with a proven track record and is yet another player with international experience. He is a very fit individual and a good person that fits within our culture.
“If I would have said last season we could start at the Summer Bash with a front row of Moimoi, Higham and Hock people would have thought I was mad! It is a great time to be a Leigh fan and it is worth noting that it is the fans’ growing support that gives me the confidence to continue to significantly invest in our team, so in many ways this signing is down to them.
“While I am unhappy with some premature and incorrect comments made by Warrington coaches Tony Smith and Richard Agar which I will not go into here, I would like to thank Simon Moran for his professionalism and for allowing the deal to take place. I know it has been a difficult situation for him that he didn’t want to happen but in the end everything happens for a reason. I wish Simon and his Warrington team every success in the season except of course when we meet in the Challenge Cup.”