Leigh Leopards ace Ricky Leutele sings praises of star NRL recruit Matt Moylan: ‘The type of player we need’

Ben Olawumi
Ricky Leutele, Matt Moylan

Former Cronulla Sharks team-mates Ricky Leutele (Main Image) & Matt Moylan (Circle) will link up again at Leigh Leopards - Alamy

Leigh Leopards centre Ricky Leutele has described NRL recruit and former team-mate Matt Moylan as ‘the type of player they need in their team’ following the Australian’s arrival this off-season.

Leutele – who only became a Leopard himself ahead of last season – has linked back up with Moylan following the playmaker’s move to Leigh from Cronulla Sharks.

Moylan has penned a two-year deal with Adrian Lam’s side, their stand-out recruit ahead of 2024, as they look to improve again on a first campaign back in the top flight which saw them compete in the Super League play-offs for the first time.

The pair spent just one season together Down Under, with Moylan’s first season as a Shark – 2018 – proving to be Leutele’s last ahead of a move to Toronto Wolfpack.

Six years on, Leutele is more than hopeful that Moylan can help lead Leigh on to great things, after a 2023 which saw them lift the Challenge Cup for the first time in over half a century.

Leigh Leopards ace Ricky Leutele sings praises of star NRL recruit and former team-mate Matt Moylan: ‘The type of player we need’

Leigh are currently out in Lanzarote on a pre-season training camp in the Spanish sun, staying at the same base as this time last year.

Speaking to the club’s website while over there, Leutele said: “It’s great to be here again. We were here last year, 12 months ago, and not much has changed, but it’s good to be back here in the sun.

“There’s loads of team activities planned, we played volleyball yesterday, and there’s loads more to come, I’m sure.

“It’s good to have Moyza here with us this year! I played with him at Cronulla, and not much has changed with him, he’s still a character!

“(Matt’s) a very chilled out person, but when it comes to training and rugby, he’s switched on. He’s the type of player we need in our team.

“I know he’ll go good with Lokie (Lachlan Lam), GOB (Gareth O’Brien), (John) Asiata and Edwin (Ipape). He fits in well here.”

Leutele details road to recovery from spinal cord injury: ‘I’m a man on a mission this year!’

Former Samoa international Leutele joined the Leopards from Huddersfield Giants, and made 20 appearances during his first year at the Leigh Sports Village, scoring four tries in the process.

The 33-year-old though missed the club’s Wembley triumph, injured the month prior in a win at Salford Red Devils, picking up a spinal cord injury which required surgery.

Detailing his road to recovery and outlining his ambitions for 2024, he said: “My recovery’s going good, I’m about six months post-op now, so I’m back into full training with full contact and I’m just focusing on getting the body fit ready for the season ahead.

“I’m looking forward to it, and I’m really excited now. It was a long time (off the pitch). I couldn’t really do anything for about three or four months, and that took me to the start of pre-season then where I started to build my blocks and get my fitness underneath me as well as getting my strength back.

“Pre-Christmas, I was a little bit sluggish, but coming into camp now I’m feeling better, more like myself, and moving a bit better which is all good.

“The club and Lammy, they all still made me feel part of the team even though I wasn’t playing or being named in the squads.

“They made me feel like this is where I belong, and I’m loving every minute of it. I’m happy for the boys to play (the Challenge Cup final) and win, but I’m sure we can go back to back this year, so that’s on the list of my goals to tick off.

“I’m a man on a mission this year!”

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