Leigh Leopards utility Keanan Brand heads to the Championship on short-term loan deal

Drew Darbyshire
Keanan Brand Leigh Leopards Alamy

Keanan Brand in action for Leigh in 2022

Championship heavyweights Bradford Bulls have signed utility back Keanan Brand on a two-week loan deal from Super League outfit Leigh Leopards.

The 25-year-old centre, who can also operate at full-back or wing, has linked up with the Bulls in search of regular game time.

Brand, who appeared on last year’s hit reality TV show Love Island, is in contention to make his Bradford debut in Sunday’s 1895 Cup quarter-final against Swinton Lions on Sunday afternoon.

Brand was part of Ireland‘s World Cup squad in 2022 but didn’t make an appearance for the Wolfhounds due to injury.

Bulls coach Eamon O’Carroll said: “It’s really pleasing to be able to bring in someone of Keanan’s ability. He will add some much-needed depth to our squad.

“Keanan is a competitor, who has a great skill set and ability to break the line but more importantly when I spoke with him, he expressed his excitement about joining us on loan.

“I’d like to thank Adrian Lam, Derek Beaumont and Chris Chester for allowing Keanan to join the Bulls. I look forward to working with Keanan for a second time round and along with the rest of the staff, helping him develop further.”

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Bradford Bulls bring in Keanan Brand on loan from Leigh Leopards

Brand has previously played under O’Carroll, who was on the backroom staff at Widnes Vikings when Brand was progressing through the club’s academy into the first team.

The Ormskirk-born back was part of the Widnes side that reached the 1895 Cup final at Wembley back in 2019 before going on to be nominated for the Championship’s Young Player of the Year award later that season.

After making 34 appearances for the Vikings, Brand made the switch to Super League giants Warrington Wolves ahead of the 2020 season, where he would make three first team appearances before linking up with Leigh the following year.

Brand, who has scored 14 tries in 36 appearances for Leigh so far, hasn’t featured for Leigh’s first team since 2022 after going on Love Island last year – but Adrian Lam has spoken publicly about how Brand has impressed during pre-season this year.

Leopards head of rugby Chris Chester said: “This is a good opportunity for Keanan to get some good quality game time.”

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