Leigh coach on Edwin Ipape arrival & latest on Anthony Gelling future

Drew Darbyshire
Edwin Ipape Leigh

New signing Edwin Ipape has finally arrived at Leigh, and coach Adrian Lam believes the Papua New Guinea international can shine in the Championship.

Ipape has joined the Centurions from Queensland Cup side PNG Hunters. He had trials with NRL club Manly Sea Eagles in 2020 but they were ended by the coronavirus pandemic.

The hooker arrived in the country earlier this week and is named in Lam’s squad to face York on Sunday.

Lam said: “He is in the country. He will be added to the squad but we will give him as much time until Sunday to see whether he’s right to play. He’s a part of our 21-man squad.

“I’ve no hesitation to pick him. If we can get him happy off the field here and help him settle in comfortably then I think Championship are going to enjoy the way he plays.

“The Leigh fans will enjoy his uncompromising defence. He is a tough and strong player. He’s got great acceleration and speed and he will certainly help us in regards to this season and out of nine.

“He is a player who can play in every position to be honest. He is a good size, he is fit and strong. If we use him in the game in certain parts then I’m certain he can open up opposition teams. Also, he brings us that bit of sting in defence.”

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Last week, Lam confirmed that the club were interested in bringing centre Anthony Gelling back to the club.

But the Cook Islands international has now taken up a salesperson role with a real estate group back in his homeland of New Zealand.

Lam conceded it was unlikely to have Gelling back at the Leigh Sports Village, for now.

Lam said: “For now, it doesn’t look favourable for the club. He was obviously an important part of this club last year.

“Playing for Wigan against him, he certainly brought a lot to the edges here and made sure they were a better attacking team. For now, it looks like it’s not an option but never say never.”

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