Leigh Centurions bolster forward pack with NRL signing

Kai O’Donnell Canberra Raiders PA
Kai O’Donnell in action for Canberra Raiders in 2020

Championship promotion-chasers Leigh Centurions have signed NRL forward Kai O’Donnell for the rest of the 2022 season. 

The 23-year-old has made four NRL appearances for Canberra Raiders and Cronulla Sharks. He has also spent time in the Gold Coast Titans system.

O’Donnell has recently been playing for Burleigh Bears in the Queensland Cup.

On his move to Leigh, O’Donnell said: “I can’t wait to get over to the UK and join up with the team.

“I’ve already touched base with Caleb Aekins and John Asiata. I’m looking forward to seeing them and meeting my new team-mates and the staff.

“I’m grateful to the Leigh Centurions club for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to getting as many games as possible and helping the club achieve its goals.”

Leigh Centurions boss delighted to land Kai O’Donnell

Brisbane-born O’Donnell, a back-rower or loose-forward, is a British passport holder with family links on his mother’s side from Ashington in the North East.

Leigh head of rugby Chris Chester said: “Kai has been on our radar since November and we are delighted to get his signature. I’d like to thank his agent, Liam Ayoub, for his assistance in this regard.

“Kai is a versatile forward with good all-round skills. He has good leg speed and is a tough defender. He’s heard a lot of good things about our club, and he wants to come over here and prove himself. He’s got a great opportunity to do that.

“I’ve spoken to several players in Australia who have played with Kai, including Josh Hodgson and Sammy Williams who I both used to coach. They’ve given him strong references.

“We’ve got him at a good age. Adrian and me both felt he was a good fit for our squad, which needed thickening up.

“Once again, I’d like to thank Derek for his great support of the club as we look to achieve our ambition of getting back into Super League.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8639 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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