Edwin Ipape: Leigh Leopards star linked with NRL move under Papua New Guinea coach

Josh McAllister
Edwin Ipape races away to score against Hull KR. Photo by PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.

Edwin Ipape races away to score against Hull KR. Photo by PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.

Leigh Leopards star Edwin Ipape is reportedly of interest to NRL outfit St George Illawarra Dragons for the 2024 campaign. 

Shane Flanagan will take charge of the Dragons next season as head coach on a three-year deal, which could see the 57-year-old Australian reunite with Papua New Guinea international Ipape.

Flanagan was a part of the Kumuls’ backroom staff for last year’s World Cup as coaching consultant, working closely with international boss Stanley Tepend at the delayed campaign in England.

Ipape featured in every game for his home nation, including the quarter-final clash with Shaun Wane’s side at the DW Stadium in Wigan.

Flanagan is reportedly eyeing up the 24-year-old Leigh number nine for 2024, according to News Corp via Zero Tackle.

The Red V are yet to make a signing for next campaign, with former Featherstone Rovers boss Ryan Carr currently acting as interim boss following the departure of Anthony Griffin earlier in May.

Ben Hunt is expected to leave the side, while out-of-contract Moses Mbye has been offered to Super League clubs for next year, according to Thirteen Rugby.

Edwin Ipape flying high in Super League

Ipape made the move to England with Leigh ahead of the 2022 campaign, winning promotion from the Championship to Super League under head coach and ex- Papua New Guinea international Adrian Lam.

Leigh, who rebranded to the Leopards upon their return to the top flight, are flying high in 2023, currently sitting second on the Super League table with a record of 11 wins from 17.

The side recently enjoyed a nine-game winning streak in all competitions before a 38-30 defeat to Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.

Ipape was named as early Super League Man of Steel favourite by the bookmakers ahead of this year’s kick-off following a stellar season in the Championship.

He has missed just one Super League fixture so far with 16 appearances, scoring five tries and making a further 10 clean breaks and 61 tackle busts.

The number nine signed a new extended contract with the Leigh Sports Village outfit in June 2022 on a deal until the end of 2025, fighting off interest from fellow Super League clubs and from abroad.

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