LEIGH Centurions have revealed their squad numbers for the 2015 season.
The announcement of the squad numbers has been eagerly awaited by supporters and new signing Fuifui Moimoi is confirmed in the #8 shirt.
Oliver Wilkes will again captain the club in the 2015 after leading the team to the League Leaders Shield and Grand Final winners in the Kingstone Press Championship in 2014. Bob Beswick will continue as vice-captain with fellow hooker Sean Penkywicz also promoted to that role.
Currently starting his testimonial Year Steve Maden has been allocated #28. By his own request prop forward Jake Emmitt, the 2014 Touchdown Club Player of the Year continues with #29.
Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley said: “The squad numbers for this season have been issued and are based on a mixture of loyalty, performance and intention. This is where the season will start but it is always interesting to see where and what numbers are in the team at the final hurdle.
“Oliver Wilkes will retain his captaincy with Bob Beswick as vice-captain, sharing the role with Sean Penkywicz who is rewarded for his abilities and leadership on and off the field. I feel this is a good balance offering good experience and importantly all communicate well with both the players and coaching staff.”
Players not squad numbered are Anthony Bate, Joe Bullock and Chris Hankinson who have all been loaned to Championship One club Barrow Raiders along with Josh Ward. Jamie Tracey and Lewis Foster, who both earned full-time contracts after impressing in the Reserves side last season, have not been allocated squad numbers at the present time.
Paul Rowley added: “Both Reserve team players can earn a number later in the year if they have earned a spot or seized an opportunity but if we were still part-time neither would have a number at the moment.”
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “We have a very tough challenge ahead of us next year and to perform well in that challenge we will need the full use of the squad.
“As we have always maintained from the Reserves to the starting 17 everyone is important with a role to play whether it be applying pressure to the shirt or finishing a try. I am looking forward to seeing how Lewis and Jamie develop from our reserves, training as full-time professionals and whether they will make that break in their opening year.
“Squad numbers always cause a lot of speculation and discussion amongst fans and I guess it is interesting what inferences can be drawn from them, but as Paul always states the 17 are picked on a weekly basis based on their week’s performance in training and not the number on their back.
“I am particularly pleased to see Steve Maden receive a squad number in his Testimonial Year despite his efforts now turning to assisting with the Reserves. We had a bit of humour with the 28 being a combination of the 2 where he used to play and the 8 where he would now need to play! There is never a lack of banter amongst the coaching team.
“ I am pleased that Paul has also found a good home for Anthony, Joe and Chris to develop whilst on full-time contracts with us at Barrow under the guidance of their Head Coach, Paul Crarey. ‘Cresta’ is a good technical coach who will work in tandem with Paul to ensure they improve as players. They join Craig Briscoe who continues his part-time contract on loan at Barrow.
“All will be closely monitored by our coaching team throughout the season. The lads have bought in well to the transition to full-time training and have worked really hard. I am sure they will welcome a short break before going hard in the New Year before we head of to Lanzarote for our pre-season camp where we will be joined by Fui to complete our preparations ahead of our first friendly against Wigan on January 18.”
LEIGH CENTURIONS SQUAD NUMBERS 2015
1: Gregg McNally
2: Adam Higson
3: Greg Worthington
4: Tom Armstrong
5: Liam Kay
6: Martyn Ridyard
7: Ryan Brierley
8: Fuifui Moimoi
9: Bob Beswick (Vice-captain)
10: Oliver Wilkes (Captain)
11: Matthew Sarsfield
12: Tommy Goulden
13: Sam Barlow
14: Sean Penkywicz (Vice-captain)
15: Jonny Pownall
16: Michael Platt
17: Ben Reynolds
18: Tom Spencer
19: Kurt Haggerty
20: Sam Hopkins
21: Jamie Acton
22: Richard Beaumont
23: Martin Aspinwall
24: Jonny Walker
25: Cameron Pitman
28: Steve Maden
29: Jake Emmitt