Aaron Pene scouting report: what can Leigh Leopards expect from new recruit?

Mike Meehall Wood
Aaron Pene

Leigh Leopards have confirmed the addition of Melbourne Storm forward Aaron Pene until the end of the 2026 campaign.

Pene will provide a significant boost to Adrian Lam’s pack at a time when they are juggling injuries to a number of key forwards, including Robbie Mulhern and captain John Asiata. He will be available for next weekend’s trip to Leeds Rhinos after securing a visa in recent days.

But what can Leigh fans expect from Pene? How does he perform when on the field? Throughout this season we’ll be bringing you the lowdown on Australian imports coming to Super League who you may not know too much about – this is Pene’s comprehensive scouting report.

The Storm prop has often topped the spreadsheets when it comes to NRL stats – though that is largely because he was alphabetically first in the whole competition.

Joking aside, he’s a player good enough that Craig Bellamy signed him twice, once picking him out of the Queensland Cup and then rescuing him from an ill-fated soujourn with the New Zealand Warriors to offer a spot in his line-up.

Pene has struggled to crack the NRL this year but can offer raw materials that might well go well in Super League.

Standing at 6”2 and weighing 17 stones, he’s was posting just shy of ten metres per run in the NRL last year – pretty good for a bench middle – but struggled in winning the floor and breaking tackles.

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He was second among all bench forward for Off Ball Volume (OBV), an advanced stat that measures push supports and decoys, an ability for work that will undoubtedly have caught the attention of Adrian Lam, and his Involvement Rate, which tracks key areas like runs and tackles on per-minute basis for substitute players, is also very good.

Pene was great at making the most of his minutes, then, but at the Storm, he was only tasked with half an hour or so to impact the game.

At Leigh, they will likely want more from a quota spot player. If his game can scale up across an extra ten minutes of action in a slightly lower competition, Pene could be a great signing.

Verdict: B


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