Bradford Bulls have moved quickly to sign up released Leigh forward Kurt Haggerty.
Haggerty, 26, captained Leigh’s Academy side in 2006 before joining his hometown club St Helens. He returned to Leigh on loan in 2009 and earned Heritage Number 1321. After spells with Blackpool Panthers and Widnes he came back to Leigh on a season-long loan from Barrow Raiders in 2014 and then signed a two-year full-time contract after some impressive displays.
He made a total of 55 appearances for the Club, scoring 15 tries and kicking one goal and a drop-goal.
Haggerty is also a respected Head Coach of National Conference side Pilikngton Recs who had a successful season in 2015, finishing runners-up to Kells in Division One.
He is the second player to leave Leigh for the Bulls following forward Jonny Walker.
Leigh coach Paul Rowley said: “I’d like to thank Kurt for all the loyalty and support he has given to me and my staff and for the way he has represented Leigh Centurions.
“I wish him well in the future and look forward to seeing him in action for his new club.”
Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: “This is one of the aspects I like least in my role and involvement with the club. It is never pleasant making tough decisions, especially about people you care about, but in the end that is what makes you make them.
“It is important in life to be honest with people and to do right by them. With the current squad assembled from my increased funding we have a large number of players who can cover the same area and the coach must be a realist and look at the level of opportunities for players.
“Having done that you have to question if you are being fair to a player if they are in their final year of contract and are not in your forward plans, by keeping them and in turn loaning or dual registering them to other clubs. I think the braver, more honest decision is to front that up and enable the player to have control over his own immediate future where he can find a suitable role that gets him consistent rugby and a worthwhile career to build on going forward.
“Kurt still has a bright future and I also wish him well and know that he respects and understands the honesty behind what has been a very difficult decision to communicate. I also hope our supporters can understand the situation as opinions on players differ and he is a really likeable and loyal lad.
“I am a friend of his family which made this harder for me but at the same time saw me take a more generous approach to resolving the situation of ending the contract early. If we see him at LSV next year albeit for an opposing side I for one will make him very welcome and I am sure our fans will also.”