LEIGH Centurions have sprung a surprise by signing Widnes half back Thomas Coyle.
The 24 year old has struggled after a broken leg in February ruled him out for the season, but he has opted to try and resurrect his career at Leigh.
“He’s potentially an excellent signing for us,” said Centurions Coach, Paul Rowley.
“He has experience with Wigan, Oldham and Widnes and was the Vikings Player of the Year in 2010, and earned a Super League contract with the Vikings.
“He has shown time and again that he has the skills, he just needs to stay fit and healthy and take his opportunity.
“Having said that Thomas comes to Leigh knowing that he has to earn a place in the team. Nothing can be taken for granted and it is all very much up to him. Fortunately he is a good player with the right attitude and I am sure he will slot right in.
“He can play hooker or half back and he could be an ideal replacement for John Duffy. But it is up to him.”
Meanwhile, Rowley may have already earmarked his potential dual registration players for next season, but he is far from impressed with the way the system is set to work.
“I can’t see how this is going to help the development of the game, the clubs or the players,” said Paul. “Granted Championship get the opportunity to put in some talented young Super League players into their side, but what is going to happen when those players are not available for one reason or another?
“For clubs like ours where we work hard on developing our own young players and where we pull the ‘duals’ into our training squad and our culture it has been reasonably successful because we work very hard at it.
“But for some of the Championship and Championship One clubs, they will be dependent on their ‘duals’ each week just to be able to get a side out, and that is not going to be helping anyone.
“Incredibly we used seven ‘dual’ players last season, but part of that was because a couple of them moved on to Super League clubs and another, Steve Nash was injured and hardly played.
“But when they were not available, we had a squad that could win games anyway, a selection process that put you in the side on merit and were not dependent on the ‘duals’ to make the number up.
“Next season clubs will be able to field up to six ‘dual’ registered players and to me that is too many, plus I am sure there are going to be strings pulled at some clubs when it comes to team selection.
“But that is not going to happen with us. We have our relationship in place with Wigan and I will be working with Shaun Wane to bring in the right players for Leigh. But the team selection and all team matters will rest firmly with me.”
Leigh’s players are enjoying a well-earned rest before being back in to pre-season training in November.