Richie Blackmore
Richie Blackmore

LEIGH Centurions have finally been able to welcome their new Business Development Manager, Kiwi international, Richie Blackmore.

He arrived at the club last Sunday evening and was settling in before starting his new post on Tuesday where he will work towards improving the club’s share of the corporate market and bringing in new business partners as Centurions and the LSV look to build for the future.

A former Leeds, Castleford and New Zealand international Blackmore will add plenty of knowledge and business acumen according to CEO, Trevor Barton MBE.

“It has been a while sorting everything out,” he admitted. “But Richie will be working hard to develop our business and further incorporate the club into the Leigh community.”

Barton also confirmed that Blackmore will not be involved in the coaching duties.

“That is the sole domain of Paul Rowley,” he added. “We have brought Richie across to develop the commercial side of the club.”

However it was confirmed that Blackmore would be looking to obtain his coaching badges whilst in the UK.

Blackmore gets his first opportunity to view the club in action tomorrow evening (Friday) when Leigh entertain York at the LSV with an 8pm kick off as they look for their first victory in the Championship this season.

“It’s a difficult game again especially with them having a side that contains a number of players with considerable Super League or NRL experience,” explained Paul. “We will be without our dual registered players from Wigan, Tom Spencer and Matty Russell whilst Tommy Goulden continues to struggle to over come his hamstring injury.

“Thankfully we didn’t pick up any other knocks in the game against London Skolars but it still leaves us with a very small squad from which to select.

“The team will not be much different from the one that won last week in the Challenge Cup, although it will be great to be back at a ground with some atmosphere.

“The Skolars game was a difficult one for us, not least because they are enjoying the best form they have ever had. But it is also difficult to play in a vast empty stadium with just a couple of hundred spectators. Never-the-less the lads did their job well and we got the win we went for.”

Leigh’s reward is a fourth round home tie against Rochdale Hornets and that certainly pleased Rowley.

“You can only ask for a home draw and we got that,” he stated. “A Super League side with a big crowd would have been good for the club’s coffers, but we have a chance to progress and that is something we must take.

“A win against Rochdale could see a big club coming to the LSV, or another Championship side would give us the chance of a semi final spot. But we are not getting ahead of ourselves. York is our main concern this week and we want to make sure we pick up a win.”

Successive defeats at home to Batley and Featherstone have left Leigh at the wrong end of the early table but they now have an opportunity to improve their position if they can see off the side that was promoted from Championship One at the end of last season.