LEIGH have signed former St Helens forward Andrew Dixon on a two year deal following his release from Salford.
Dixon, 24, goes straight into the squad for Sunday’s friendly against North Wales Crusaders.
Centurions this week learned Matthew Sarsfield was going to be out for four months leaving them short of options in the second row with Kurt Haggerty and Martin Aspinwall already injured.
Dixon will wear the number 22 shirt. He originally signed professional forms for St Helens from the Blackbrook ARL club and made his first-team debut in February 2009. He went on to earn a regular first-team squad place during his four seasons at Saints, often playing off the bench.
He featured in the Saints sides defeated in both the 2010 and 2011 Super League Grand Finals, playing alongside new Centurions team-mate Jake Emmitt in the first of those two finals.
At the end of the 2012 season, having scored 13 tries in 67 games for Saints he joined Salford on a three-year contract. In his first season he made 28 appearances scoring four tries and in 2014 he scored four tries in nine games while also playing one game on loan with Barrow Raiders. He recently commenced a one-month loan deal with Halifax but has now been released from that arrangement.
Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley said: “Andrew is a similar age to many players in the squad and fits in with my theme of developing this squad in a five-year block where these talented players can stay together.
“He is very well respected and has a wealth of experience. He works hard and is ambitious. I’m looking forward to working with him and to seeing him challenge for a place in our already talented squad.”
Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “I am delighted to capture a new young player to our side who has experience of around 100 Super League games in a position we are currently struggling with due to injuries. I’d like to thank Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash for his assistance with the negotiations regarding this matter that allows Andrew to play for Leigh Centurions. It is always pleasing to see a fellow club owner act in the best interests of the player rather than the club.
“The Halifax club showed their understanding of the situation and in agreeing to terminate Andrew’s loan agreement again demonstrated a club acting in the best interests of the player.
Dixon’s move has been part funded by the Leigh Independent Supporters Association (LISA) and he will attend the group’s next meeting in the Legends Bar at Leigh Sports Village on Tuesday.
Beaumont added: “I would also like to thank LISA for agreeing to continue with their sponsorship in order that we could apply those funds towards securing Andrew.”