Rangi Chase has been unveiled as a Leigh Centurions player today.
Chase joins the club on a two-year contract with the club having the option of a further year.
Chase, 29, is a vastly experienced international halfback who will join the club immediately and be involved in pre season training.
Born in Dannevirke, a rural service town in the North Island of New Zealand, Chase began his league career with Manawatu before joining Wests Tigers in the NRL. After making his first grade debut for Tigers in 2006 he later spent two seasons with St George-Illawarra, making a total of 32 NRL appearances before coming to England to play for Castleford Tigers.
Chase won some of the game’s top individual honours during his time at Castleford, the club Player of the Year trophy in 2009 and the prestigious double of the Albert Goldthorpe Medal and Man of Steel awards in 2011. He made a total of 129 appearances in five seasons with the Tigers and after previously representing NZ Maori and later the Exiles, against England in June 2011, he was selected to represent England, making a total of eight international appearances including playing in the 2013 World Cup.
He went on to join Salford Red Devils and has made a total of 42 appearances for the club in the past two seasons, scoring 15 tries.
Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: “Rangi has undoubted class that I am sure will flourish within our team. I will look forward to challenging Rangi in different roles to ensure we bring the best out of him and that the team benefits from his presence.”
Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “Rangi is a class act with a wide array of skills that are rarely seen in a player. He is a game breaker and is often referred to as a magician by the things he does that amazes the eyes. He is a very special player and one that I believe will light up the Championship and bring even more focus and media attention to the division, which can only be good for all the participating clubs.
“I have spent a lot of time talking to Rangi with Paul Rowley and assistant coach Neil Jukes and as well as playing what he sees Rangi can run a game plan and a structure that affords him times when he can express himself.
“He is the icing on the cake, complementing some impressive signings we have made which sets a clear intention to continue in our quest for Super League. We have lacked competition in the halves and were a bit broken towards the end but Rangi will certainly mix that up and I just can’t wait to see him get the ball in hand at our training camp in Lanzarote.
“Our existing players are excited at having the chance to play with Rangi and others joining us have already experienced that, so we should have a good balance once we get going. It was no easy task convincing Rangi that Leigh is the right place for him. It takes a lot for a player of that quality to step down a level but he has seen other international players do that and it gives one courage to do the same. He has bought into the challenge and the journey we are going to embrace and is under no illusions as to how tough it is in the Championship. He is looking forward to it and he has a really good vibe about him. I know our fans will welcome him with open arms.”