Leigh Centurions forwards Anthony Bate and Craig Briscoe have been released from their contracts and both players are now free to join Barrow Raiders on permanent deals.
Bate and Briscoe have both been on season long loan deals to Barrow and been mainstays of Paul Crarey’s Kingstone Press Championship One side this year.
Bate, 23, joined Leigh from Thatto Heath and had a dream first season in 2013, playing in the Northern Rail Cup Final success over Sheffield Eagles at The Shay. He made 20 first-team appearances for the Centurions, scoring three tries.
Briscoe, 22, made his Centurions debut in 2010 earning Heritage Number 1337 after playing for Leigh’s academy side. A former Wigan St Jude’s ARL product he made 52 first-team appearances for the Centurions and scored eight tries. In 2014 he spent a season-long loan at Barrow, playing 15 games and was on a similar arrangement this season.
Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: “Both Craig and Anthony have played a big part in my time in charge and have been integral to where we are at this point. I am really grateful for their respective contributions to the team and the squad over the past few seasons.
“Clearly their opportunities here are limited at the moment and as I have a great relationship with Barrow and their head coach Paul Crarey it makes sense to do the right thing for them and the Barrow club. We wish them both well.”
In addition Jamie Tracey has joined Barrow on loan until the end of the season.
Tracey, 21, is a former BARLA Youth international who came to the Club from Thatto Heath and played a big part in Paul Anderson’s free-scoring Reserves side in 2014, earning a two-year full-time playing contract. The loan move gives him the opportunity to make his first-team debut after restricted opportunities in 2015 due to the limited number of games in the revamped Reserves Championship.
Rowley added: “Jamie is going to Barrow for the rest of the year and will get opportunities to play first-team football. The Reserves competition this year has been a non-event and detrimental to the development of players like Jamie so this loan move will give him a good opportunity to progress.
“We will continue to monitor his performances as we do with everything to do with Barrow. Joe Bullock, Cameron Pitman and Chris Hankinson are on loan there and Josh Ward joined them on a permanent deal earlier in the season. I went up to watch Barrow’s game last Saturday and Paul Anderson and Simon Finnigan continually analyse their games.
“Our relationship with Barrow is a strong one and it is not unimaginable that any of our players who are playing for them could return to play for Leigh Centurions in the future.”