Leigh Leopards catch second new signing of the day as England Knights international signs long-term deal

Ben Olawumi
Owen Trout

Owen Trout dives over for a try in Huddersfield Giants colours - Alamy

Leigh Leopards have tonight announced the signing of versatile forward Owen Trout following his departure from Huddersfield Giants, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.

Turning 24 on Sunday, Trout becomes Leigh’s second signing of the day and second new recruit ahead of 2024 following on from Dan Norman. Having left St Helens, the Ireland international’s arrival was confirmed by the club a few hours ago.

Trout links up with the Leopards after ending a four-year stint at Huddersfield, confirmed as having secured a deal elsewhere by the Giants in their departures list last month.

The utility made 54 appearances in total during his time at the John Smith’s Stadium, featuring in last year’s Challenge Cup final against Wigan Warriors. Only five of his appearances came this year though, suffering a season-ending knee injury in May against Hull KR.

Leigh Leopards ‘catch’ second signing of the day as Owen Trout pens long-term deal

Earning a first cap for the England Knights last October, Trout – who can play pretty much anywhere in the forward pack – makes the same move that centre Ricky Leutele did this time last year as Leigh re-branded from Centurions to the now infamous Leopards tagline.

Having signed his deal running until the end of 2026, the versatile youngster explained how veteran Leutele – who has also spent a lengthy period in the treatment room this year – helped him to make the decision: “Ricky got in touch and couldn’t have done a better job of selling the club if he’d tried.

“He told me what a good club it was and how happy he was. The way the Leopards rebrand has caught on and the whole matchday experience at Leigh is another exciting thing to look forward to.

“I had interest from several clubs but when I came to Leigh it was really welcoming. The passion and confidence with which Adrian Lam and Chris Chester spoke made me want to sign and add to that.

“From an outsider looking in, the Leigh squad seems like a band of brothers, all good mates who work together and that was another reason.

“I loved my time at Huddersfield and was sad to leave in many ways, but I felt it was the right time to move on and have a change of scenery.”

New signing hailed by Leigh chief: ‘To recruit a player of his quality is a huge coup for our club’

Soon-to-be 24-year-old Trout – the younger brother of Keighley Cougars ace Kyle – spent time at Stanley Rangers in his youth before being picked up by Leeds Rhinos, where he would eventually make a professional debut in 2019.

With loan spells at Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone Rovers that same year, the utility forward would soon move on to pastures new, joining Huddersfield ahead of the 2020 campaign.

Having secured his signature, and made the Leigh Sports Village Trout’s third permanent home, the Leopards’ Head of Rugby Chris Chester added: “Owen is exactly what Lammy wants in a player. He’s got leg speed, he’s a big body and he moves well for a big guy. He’s been outstanding for Huddersfield.

“To recruit a player of his quality is a huge coup for our club. Owen’s 2023 season was cut short by an ACL injury, but his recovery has been going well. He’s fit and raring to go in pre-season.”

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