How Leigh Leopards are shaping up for 2023

Drew Darbyshire
Leigh Leopards 2023 SWpix

Photos: SWpix

The newly rebranded Leigh Leopards have 27 players registered in their first team ahead of their return to Super League next season.

Last week, club owner Derek Beaumont confirmed the Centurions would be rebranded to Leopards ahead of 2023.

Adrian Lam’s side won promotion to Super League after winning the Championship Grand Final after beating Batley.

10 new signings

During Thursday’s presentation, the club confirmed 10 new signings ahead of their return to the top flight.

Strike centres Zak Hardaker (Leeds) and Ricky Leutele (Huddersfield) are the headline signings.

Tom Briscoe (Leeds), Gareth O’Brien (Castleford), Nathan Wilde (Newcastle Thunder), Oliver Holmes, Jacob Gannon, Matty Davis, Jack Hughes and Robbie Mulhern (all Warrington) have also joined the club.

Leigh general manager Neil Jukes told the conference that, of the 27 members of Lam’s squad, 23 have signed minimum two-year contracts.

Nine of the new signings have agreed two-year deals with the Leopards. Young prop Wilde is on a one-year contract.

Leigh boast an impressive squad ahead of their return to the top flight. O’Brien and Hardaker will be the full-back options, with the likes of Josh Charnley, Blake Ferguson, Tom Briscoe and Tom Nisbet competing for a spot on the wing.

The Leopards are also well covered in the centres. Keanan Brand, Ed Chamberlain, Nene Macdonald, Hardaker and Leutele are all competing for places.

In the halves, Leigh will have Lachlan Lam, Joe Mellor, Ben Reynolds and O’Brien at their disposal.

Championship Player of the Year Edwin Ipape and Aaron Smith will be the club’s hookers. The pair impressed during their promotion campaign.

The Leopards will have plenty of power in the pack. Tom Amone, John Asiata, Ben Nakubuwai, Kai O’Donnell and Jake Wardle are all signed up for next year.

Leigh’s squad for 2023 so far

Backs: Keanan Brand, Tom Briscoe, Ed Chamberlain, Josh Charnley, Blake Ferguson, Zak Hardaker, Lachlan Lam, Ricky Leutele, Nene Macdonald, Joe Mellor, Tom Nisbet, Gareth O’Brien, Ben Reynolds.

Forwards: Tom Amone, John Asiata, Matty Davis, Jacob Gannon, Oliver Davies, Jack Hughes, Edwin Ipape, Jacob Jones, Robbie Mulhern, Ben Nakubuwai, Kai O’Donnell, Aaron Smith, Jake Wardle, Nathan Wilde.

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