Amidst the chaos of the Super League Grand Final, Leigh Leopards have tonight confirmed the signing of Lewis Baxter on a one-year deal for 2024.
The forward was one of 11 released by St Helens at the end of this year, coming through the academy ranks to make three first-team appearances between this year and last in the Red Vee.
Exiting the Totally Wicked Stadium having featured for Saints in the Reserves Grand Final earlier this month, the Wigan St Jude’s amateur also has senior experience from spells on either loan or dual registration with North Wales Crusaders and Swinton Lions.
He now links up with the Leopards, following teammate Dan Norman down the East Lancs with the Ireland international having put pen to paper yesterday.
Leigh Leopards recruit St Helens starlet for 2024
Upon joining Leigh, 21-year-old Baxter is focused on breaking and staying in their team. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Saints and learned a lot but now’s the time where I need to start playing regularly, and coming to Leigh gives me the opportunity to press my claims.
“Leigh are a club on the up and when they came in for me, obviously I wanted to sign. The quality of the coaching was a big factor.
“Adrian Lam has done well everywhere he’s been, and Tony Clubb played in my position so I’m looking forward to learning from him.
“I spoke to Dan Norman, who was my roommate when I went over to Australia with the Saints squad for the World Club Challenge. Dan’s been at Leigh on loan, and he told me what a good club it was.”
A fourth new face in the pack for Leigh
Baxter becomes Leigh’s fourth new addition in the space of two days, the second man to make the move from Saints, as already touched on.
Versatile forward Owen Trout joins on a long-term deal having brought an end to a four-year stint at Huddersfield Giants, with young Championship ace Louis Brogan’s signature being announced earlier today. He had been with Swinton Lions since 2019, and helped them to preserve their second tier status this term.
The Leopards’ Head of rugby – Chris Chester – is looking forward to the club helping their latest recruit in his development, adding: “Lewis is a young kid we are very pleased to recruit.
“He’s played a handful of games for Saints, and we’ve had good reports about him. He found himself behind some top-quality players at Saints which limited his opportunities, but he can play front row or back row and he’s a big body.
“Working with Adrian Lam and Tony Clubb on a daily basis will bring him on in leaps and bounds to enable him to reach his potential.”