The Centurions have rebranded to Leigh Leopards ahead of their 2023 Super League season, with owner Derek Beaumont confirming the news on Thursday afternoon.
Leigh hosted an in-person press conference at the Leigh Sports Village to announce the news, alongside 10 new signings for 2023.
The side won promotion to Super League after winning the Championship Grand Final over Batley for a place in the top division.
“It’s not a whim,” said Beaumont on his club’s rebranding. “It was the result of quite a lot of research over a period of time.
“It’s a re-branding of our club that creates a lot more opportunities from a commercial and retail aspect.”
Here’s how social media reacted to the news…
Love Rugby League editor James Gordon predicted the news on Thursday morning. Beaumont himself actually admitted he used his outfit as some of the inspiration behind Leigh Leopards.
— James Gordon (@jdgsport) October 20, 2022
Of course, rivals Featherstone had to join in…
👕 𝙋𝙍𝙀𝙏𝙏𝙔 𝙄𝙉 𝙋𝙄𝙉𝙆
— Featherstone Rovers (@FevRoversRLFC) October 20, 2022
Huddersfield Hedgehogs, anyone?
— Huddersfield Giants (@Giantsrl) October 20, 2022
Former winger Dale Bloomfield isn’t a fan of the Leigh Leopards…
He wrote: “Worst name in rugby league, Leigh Leopards or Liverpool Lizards?”
Worst name in Rugby League Leigh Leopards or Liverpool Lizards??? Haha
— Dale Bloomfield (@Bloomers5) October 20, 2022
Joseph summed up Thursday’s two big stories well here. He wrote: “I’ve come out of a staff meeting to discover Liz Truss has resigned and that Leigh Centurions have rebranded themselves as Leigh Leopards. Mental.”
I've come out of a staff meeting to discover Liz Truss has resigned and that Leigh Centurions have rebranded themselves as Leigh Leopards. Mental.
— Joseph Gibbons (@JoeBillGibbo) October 20, 2022
Over 1,000 fans liked this one from Barrow…
Nope, doesn’t work.
Back to the drawing board 🤔 pic.twitter.com/XJh5wIIALb
— Barrow Raiders (@BarrowRaiders) October 20, 2022
There was some support for the rebranding, of course. Shawn wrote: “Just got to say to Derek Beaumont, congratulations. I’m a huge fan of the New Brand of #LeighLeopards. The new kit looks awesome.”
— Shawn CW Briggs (@realchadwaughsb) October 21, 2022
Of course, owner Beaumont remains upbeat about the future, and why shouldn’t he? Best of luck to them.
Big day done finished with a walk with the one that never judges! Still as warm and proud in this coat on the walk and always will be! #recordbreakers #newera and BTW #BrianCarney is absolute quality! Think positive be positive receive positive! Oh and always keep talking rugby👏 pic.twitter.com/M4iicNUWJH
— Derek john beaumont (@derek_beaumont) October 20, 2022
Leigh’s new signings
During the rebranding announcement, 10 new players were confirmed by the promoted side. Leeds outside-back Zak Hardaker will make the switch on a two-year deal. Jack Hughes and Ricky Leutele will also join from Warrington and Huddersfield respectively.
Tom Briscoe, Jacob Gannon, Oliver Holmes, Gareth O’Brien, Matt Davis, Robbie Mulhern and Nathan Wilde have also signed.