GARETH Hock has joined Leigh Centurions following his release from Salford Red Devils on Monday.
The former Wigan forward joins on a two-year contract that runs until the end of November 2016 with a further year at the club’s option.
The staff and my players are all very enthused and excited to welcome Gareth to the family and challenge him to work hard and express himself through his talentsPaul Rowley
But the former Great Britain and England international forward, 31, will have to wait for his Leigh debut as he serves a recent six-match suspension handed out by the RFL.
Wigan born Hock came through the Wigan scholarship and academy ranks and after winning Great Britain Academy international honours in 2001 made his first team debut in 2003 against Doncaster. He went on to score 11 tries in 32 appearances in his first season and soon established a reputation as one of the best forwards in the game.
Hock scored a total of 48 tries in 191 games for Wigan before leaving the club to spend a season long loan at Widnes in 2013 when he scored ten tries in 16 games.
In September 2013 he signed a four-year contract at Salford and scored six tries in 18 games for the Red Devils, taking his club tally to 64 tries in 227 games with a further nine appearances on the international stage.
Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: “Upon learning of Gareth’s departure from Salford I was shortly contacted indirectly from Gareth with a strong desire to become a part of our team.
“Rugby league players of Gareth’s ability rarely become available and there was an obvious interest from Derek Beaumont our head of rugby and myself to research and exhaust an opportunity to add a world-class player to our team.
“The staff and my players are all very enthused and excited to welcome Gareth to the family and challenge him to work hard and express himself through his talents, whilst also challenging myself to get the best out of him within a very positive, fun and hard-working environment.
“I am looking forward to watching him represent this great Club with the same pride and passion as that of all our players.”