Adrian Lam brings Papua New Guinea star to Leigh for 2022

Drew Darbyshire
Adrian Lam

Leigh coach Adrian Lam has brought fellow Papua New Guinean Edwin Ipape to the Centurions ahead of the 2022 Championship season. 

The 22-year-old joins the Centurions from Queensland Cup side PNG Hunters. He had trials with NRL club Manly Sea Eagles in 2020 but they were ended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ipape can half-back, hooker or loose forward. He made his Papua New Guinea debut in 2019; and scored in their famous 28-10 win over Great Britain in Port Moresby that year.

Ipape said: “I am really excited about the opportunity that Leigh Centurions have given me. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and ripping in.

“I can’t wait to play in England and test myself against the best players in the competition.”

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Adrian Lam delighted to welcome Edwin Ipape to Leigh

Leigh coach Adrian Lam said: “Edwin is a great signing for us in that he can play in a variety of positions.

“There are two main parts to his game. Firstly, he is an aggressive defender who makes his presence felt. Secondly, he is incredibly quick and an elusive smart ball player. We hope to get him over here within a fortnight then he can get ready to make his debut.”

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Leigh head of rugby Chris Chester said: “Edwin comes highly recommended, and Adrian has been keeping close tabs on him.

“Adrian mentioned him four or five weeks ago alongside another couple of PNG players and we are very pleased to get this deal over the line. It’s been a smooth process and Edwin can’t wait to get over here and get started.

“He’s a player who can play in a number of positions, 6, 7, 9 or 13 or even as a middle and he’s a no-nonsense type of player who doesn’t take a backward step. He runs well enough, as you’ll see if you watch his video clips, and hits hard defensively

“Playing in that famous win over Great Britain really showcased his abilities and that try he scored, just before half-time, is well worth watching time and again.

“Edwin will add so much versatility and depth to our squad and he’s made up to be coached by Adrian, who remains a major sporting hero in PNG. We think he’ll take the Championship by storm and our fans will love him.

“Recruitment is still ongoing, and Edwin is another piece of the jigsaw.”

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