Centurions jet out for training camp

New Leigh signing Fuifui Moimoi
New Leigh signing Fuifui Moimoi

PAUL Rowley says Leigh’s training camp in the winter sunshine will be all work and not much play.

The Kingstone Press Championship Champions jetted out to Lanzarote this week for a five-day stint at a world-class training facility used by athletes from all over the world.

New signing Fuifui Moimoi will fly out to meet his Leigh team-mates for the first time on Thursday having arrived in the UK just a day earlier.

Former Parramatta Eels forward Moimoi, who has represented both Tonga and New Zealand, is tipped to make his debut in a friendly against Wigan on January 18.

The training camp marks the final phase of Leigh’s preseason programme.

“We will be doing a good voulme of training,” said Centurions coach Rowley who was this week named the League Express Championship Coach of the Year.

“I have been to the training complex before and it’s wall to wall sport and we’ll be surrounded by athletes. For someone like me it’s a dream environment.”

Rowley said there was no suggestion the trip to sunnier climes was going to be a holiday for his players.

“We are about 20 miles from civilization so unless someone wants to ‘do a Papillon’ and make a break for it, you’ve no way out. And even if there is any down-time the alternatives are all sport based anyway.

“Derek Beaumont (Leigh’s head of rugby) offered the players this chance when we won the league and the players are grateful to have this opportunity.

“From a training point of view it will be brilliant to have everyone together without worrying about external things. The Yorkshire lads won’t be phoning to say they’re stuck on the M62 - it’ll be a great environment.”

Rowley says the extra daylight and good weather will see his players get the chance to do plenty of running and ballwork.

“We need to get some miles in our legs” said Rowley. “We’re clearly going to be off the pace as we ramp up for the friendlies and I think when we start playing again it’ll be a shock to us.”

Centurions have four warm-up games ahead of the Championship opener against Bradford Bulls on February 15.

Leigh take on Wigan in a fortnight before matches against three Championship One clubs - North Wales Crusaders, Keighley and Oldham – all at the Sports Village.

“I’ve been told Wigan are sending their best available team so we will have to hit the ground running. But these friendlies are much needed.”

Rowley says the players coming back from off-season operations such as Tommy Goulden, Sam Hopkins, Martyn Ridyard and Tom Spencer are making good progress though Martin Aspinwall has recently suffered a knee injury in training – the full extent of which is not yet known.

+ Martyn Ridyard was voted Championship Player of 2014 by readers of League Express while the club took the Club of the Year Award ahead of Super League Champions St Helens.