Andy Bracek joins hometown club Leigh

Leigh have confirmed the signing of forward Andy Bracek from Swinton for 2019.

The 31-year-old played his junior rugby at Leigh Miners Rangers, before embarking on a journey that saw him play for St Helens, Warrington Wolves, Barrow Raiders, Crusaders, Halifax and Swinton Lions.

A former Wales international, Bracek has made over 300 career appearances and will add experience to Leigh’s forward pack in 2019.

On joining his hometown club, Bracek said: “It’s been a bit of a waiting game since the end of the season and a few clubs were in for me, but I bided my time because I’ve always wanted to play for Leigh.

“I held my nerve and I’m so glad I did. John [Duffy] is a good mate of mine and our families know one another. John is building a team of local lads who want to play for Leigh. A lot of them are young, hungry and have a lot to prove and even the more experienced lads like Tom Spencer have the ability to go on and have a long career in Super League.

“I always enjoyed playing against Leigh and got lots of stick and banter from the fans, but it was only because they were cross that I wasn’t playing for them! I know a lot of people around the town and I’m really looking forward to playing in front of my mates every week.

“I’ve got a lot of rugby left in me and with the coaching staff here, there’s no way I’ll get complacent about my fitness. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

On signing Bracek, Centurions’ coach John Duffy said: “Andy’s a great lad and will do anything for anybody.

“He’s always harboured a bugbear about not playing for his hometown club and really wants to finish his career here. When he came to sign he was emotional about it and it showed how much it meant to him.

“Andy knows the Championship inside out and will be a calming influence on the younger players. He’s tough and he’s talented and he can play big minutes.

“He’s great around people and he will soon become a favourite from the fans’ point of view. They’ve always seen him as a villain, but they’ll soon change their perceptions of him. He’s a great signing and I’m chuffed to have him on board.”