LEIGH Centurions are forging stronger links with Super League neighbours Wigan Warriors and that could mean more top quality dual registered players for next season to boost the chances of bringing silverware to the LSV!
Centurions coach Paul Rowley has been working closely with Warriors head coach, Shaun Wane over the past 12 months to look at ways that the development of the young Wigan players can help enhance the chances of the Centurions in gaining Super League status. The dual register playing of Matty Russell and Tom Spencer was particularly beneficial to the Leigh side, with Spencer putting in some sterling performances through most of the season.
But with the RFL tightening up on the dual registering arrangements so that Super League clubs can only loan to one club in the Championship, Rowley is confident Leigh are in the best possible place.
“Shaun (Wane) and myself have an excellent working understanding, and worked well last season,” he explained. “Wigan are as keen for us to be back in Super League as we are, and if by working together we can achieve that, I am all in favour of doing so.
“Already I have identified with Shaun four or five players who will be our potential duel registered players for 2013, and believe me the Leigh fans are going to be delighted.
“Of course those players may and probably will get called upon for first team games at Wigan, but that was the case this season with the players we had from Warrington as well as Wigan.
“But just where they are played or whether they are selected is entirely up to me. Wigan or any other club does not have any input into Leigh Centurions selections at all. I take sole responsibility for that.
“The use of dual registered players in the Championship is now established fact and we will take up the opportunity as much as the next side. But you have to say that in Wigan we have the best possible opportunity to bring quality players to our club.
“Last season we used seven dual registered players , but in 2013 I expect that to be four or five.
“We have 20 players signed up so far and therefore a squad of 24 or 25 players will be ideal.”
Leigh are still seeking a couple of players notably a centre to strengthen the back line options, whilst negotiations with second row forward James Taylor continue.