Charting the rise of Leigh Leopards’ Tom Amone – one of Super League’s premium props

Drew Darbyshire
Tom Amone Adrian Lam Leigh Leopards Alamy

Tom Amone (right) in action for Leigh Leopards in 2024

Tom Amone’s development during his time with Leigh Leopards has been phenomenal, according to his head coach Adrian Lam.

The Australia-born powerhouse, who is of Tongan heritage, arrived at the Leigh Sports Village ahead of the 2022 season after making 17 appearances in the NRL for South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers.

Amone, whose uncle Asa played for Halifax and Featherstone in the 1990s, was initially used as an impact sub by Lam when he came to Leigh, who were then in the Championship and known as the Centurions.

Fast forward two years and Amone is now one of the leading props in Super League, having a reputation for having an exceptional work rate in both attack and defence whilst boasting a skilful ball-playing ability.

A foot injury has limited Amone to four appearances so far this season, but he is over that now and is producing some of his best rugby, and is back to playing big minutes in the middle.

He is averaging 32 tackles per game – a rarely seen stat for a prop – and 18 carries per game, with an average gain of 135 metres per match.

Amone, who played in Leigh’s Challenge Cup triumph at Wembley last year, produced a mammoth display against a physical Catalans Dragons pack in the Leopards’ 30-2 victory on Friday night.

“I thought he was the best player on the field,” Lam told Love Rugby League after the game. “I know Matty Moylan has got a lot of credit, but I thought Tom Amone was unbelievable.

“Tom has only been back for a couple of weeks now and has missed a lot of time, so it’s great that he’s finding his feet now. Hopefully, as a group and as a team, we will all follow in his footsteps.”

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From bench player to Super League Dream Team member: The remarkable rise of Tom Amone

Amone, who has made 68 appearances so far for the Leopards, was rewarded for his efforts with a place alongside Warrington Wolves ace Paul Vaughan in the front-row of last year’s Super League Dream Team.

Speaking to Love Rugby League, Lam provided an insight in to how the Leopards helped bring the best out of Amone.

“When he came to us he was a bench player for us,” Lam explained. “So just instilling belief in him and making him understand his body and the talent that is in there – but also just not overthinking.

“I think his development in the last two and a half years has been phenomenal. I thought he deserved one of the front-rowers of the year with the Super League Dream Team last year.”

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