Leigh confirm partnership with Wigan

Championship side Leigh have announced a partnership with Super League neighbours Wigan, which features new guidelines on dual-registration.

The Centurions, along with Featherstone, Halifax and Sheffield, have been vocal in their opposition to the new dual-registration system, which has caused much controversy in the early weeks of the season.

But their agreement with Wigan, focusing on the development of junior elite players in the local area, will limit the dual-registration of players to those under the age of 23 on 31st August 2012.

Leigh chairman Keith Freer said: “This is an absolute fantastic opportunity, here at Leigh we have some of the best facilities in rugby league and now we are in partnership with one of the biggest names in the sport which enables Leigh to develop and strengthen to achieve our ultimate goal of being in the Super League at the earliest opportunity. 

“It does not in any way adversely affect the independence of the Centurions, if anything it enhances our independence and our ability to compete. I must thank both Ian Lenagan and Kris Radlinski in agreeing to the terms of the partnership that enabled both clubs to make this commitment to the young players in our region.”

In a statement, Leigh were keen to point out that the partnership will not be one-sided, and that they will not be used to provide a short term environment for returning Super League players.

Wigan General Manager Kris Radlinski said: “I see this as a real chance for both clubs to work together for the benefit of rugby league across the Borough of Wigan, as a Club we can benefit in a number of ways which includes the opportunity for some of our players to gain vital first team football at Championship level. 

“For Leigh this provides an enhanced squad for them to choose from with up to 5 players at any one time available via the dual registration or through the loan system format. Leigh has a great position within the game and both parties are keen to ensure each Club still retains its individual structures and identity.”

Wigan will also provide Leigh with assistance in areas such as sports science, coaching and medical support.

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