LEIGH Centurions have been thwarted in their bid to sign Australian winger Curtis Johnston.
Centurions attempted to register the North Sydney Bears winger with the Rugby Football League under a Discretionary Tier 2 GBE Application but it has been turned down after an appeal at Red Hall.
Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont attended the appeal meeting together with acting CEO Steve Openshaw.
Mr Beaumont said: “It is very disappointing not to be able to introduce Curtis to the English game. I was excited by the prospect of what he could have added to our club.
“I felt we put forward a well documented and balanced appeal which was acknowledged by the panel.
“However, they upheld the decision of the RFL at the same time as praising the attitude and performance of the club.
“We accept their decision and have a better understanding of the process. I would like to personally thank Andy Burnham MP for his assistance in this process. He was extremely supportive at short notice of the Club’s proposal which is testament to his commitment to the Club and the town of Leigh.
“I can confirm we will not be pursuing an alternative replacement for Curtis and will run with what we currently have. I sincerely hope he gets to earn an opportunity in the NRL from his current club as he certainly looks a player that can add something to the highest level of the game.”