Leigh snap up Papua New Guinea star

Drew Darbyshire
Rhyse Martin, Justin Olam and Nene Macdonald in action for Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's (L-R) Rhys Martin, Justin Olam and Nene Macdonald celebrate defeating Ireland in the Rugby League World Cup match at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Sunday, November 5, 2017

Leigh have signed Papua New Guinea international Nene Macdonald ahead of the 2022 Championship season.

The 27-year-old centre or winger has made almost 100 NRL appearances for Sydney Roosters, Gold Coast Titans, St George Illawarra Dragons, North Queensland Cowboys and Cronulla Sharks.

Macdonald has won nine caps for his native Papua New Guinea. He is hoping to play in his World Cup next autumn.

Macdonald said: “I’m super excited to have signed for Leigh Centurions and I can’t wait to get over and play.

“I’ve heard such a lot of good things about the club and the community and all the people I’ve spoken to at the club have been really friendly and welcoming.

“I’m hoping to get over as soon as possible. Coming to live and play in the UK has long been an ambition of mine and this is the perfect opportunity for me.

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“I’ve known Adrian Lam for a while now. He’s a legend in PNG and we’ve kept in touch over the years. He told me he wanted me to come over and having him at Leigh will make the transition easier.

“Now I’m hoping for a big year with Leigh Centurions and to finish it playing for my country again in the World Cup. It’s a massive honour playing for PNG and having already played in two World Cups I can’t wait to experience that again.”

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Chris Chester delighted to welcome Nene Macdonald to Leigh

Leigh head of rugby Chris Chester said: “Adrian has worked with Nene before and recommended him. He’s a big lad, 6ft 4in and a great athlete. He’s got great leg speed and will bring strike on the edge.

“Nene is a class player and a really exciting signing for the club. We are looking forward to him getting over here.”

READ MORE: Championship ins and outs for 2022: Signings and retentions club-by-club