Papua New Guinea hooker signs three-year deal at Leigh

James Gordon
Edwin Ipape Leigh Centurions SWpix

Edwin Ipape in action for Leigh | Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Leigh hooker Edwin Ipape has signed a new three-year deal with the Centurions to keep him at the club until the end of 2025.

Ipape, 25, joined the club in February and was man of the match in the 1895 Cup final win over Featherstone.

He said: “I’m really happy to get the deal over the line. We’ve been in talks for the last couple of weeks, but we’ve finally come to an agreement. I’ve signed on for the next three years and I couldn’t be happier.

“The club gave me the opportunity to come play my rugby in this country and has helped get the best out of me.

“To sign a three-year deal and get the security that comes with that is important for me. I want to find somewhere I can make a home and focus on my rugby – this contract allows me to do that.”

Ipape has scored six tries in 14 appearances and will have his eye on the World Cup at the end of the year.

Future plans

Leigh owner Derek Beaumont has received criticism for his recruitment policy in recent years, and was keen to outline his plans.

He told the club’s official website: “Since the difficult season of 2018 when we failed to make the playoffs and the club became significantly exposed, I stuck to a rebuilding programme that was always protecting the longer-term future exposure of the club by limiting contracts to a single season.

“This obviously had its limitations but was successful in getting us to where we are now. I now have the confidence in Chris and Adrian, the players and support staff that this club can achieve both mine and its goals in the near future.

“When bringing Chris and Adrian on board it was always based on a three-to-five-year plan. That was what sold the club to them and attracted them on board. I fully believe in them and am therefore backing them by securing longer term deals to achieve what we want to achieve, and Edwin is a big part of that.

“I am not taking anything for granted concerning this year. I’m simply hell bent committed to getting into Super League with a team that can compete at the top end of Super League.  If it doesn’t materialise this year, we will have a great team again next year to keep at it.

“Ultimately it boils down to money.  It’s been a big investment for me this year and could be bigger next year if we don’t make it, but I have the money and am prepared to use it to get where our great club deserves to be.

“Seeing crowds grow over 4,000 is highly motivating to me and helps greatly so I hope our fans will continue coming and bringing their friends to watch the great rugby our team is playing.

“I would like to thank Edwin for entrusting his next three years with us despite the strong external interest, especially when it’s far from a given, we will be where he wants and was offered to play next year in Super League.”

MORE: Edwin Ipape grateful for “massive opportunity” Leigh have given him