Leigh have signed prop Tom Amone from NRL side Wests Tigers ahead of the 2022 Championship season.
The 24-year-old made eight appearances for the Tigers in the NRL last season. He spent two seasons at South Sydney Rabbitohs between 2019-20, playing nine games.
Amone’s father Asa was a dual-code international for Tonga. Asa played in the 1897 Rugby Union World Cup and in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. He also played alongside Leigh’s current head of rugby Chris Chester at Halifax.
On signing Tom, Chester said: “I looked at signing Tom when I was at Wakefield Trinity 12 months ago, but at the time there wasn’t a quota spot available.
“He’s a player that reminds me a lot of Kelepi Tanganoa at Wakefield, someone who people didn’t know too much about before he came, but soon found out about once he’d arrived.
“Tom has good leg speed and can play. He’s aggressive in attack and defence and his style of play will be ideally suited to the game over here.
“He is a nice, humble guy and he’s coming here for the right reasons. He’s only 24 and has a big career in front of him and I’m looking forward to seeing him play at Leigh Centurions. He’s another signing for our fans to get excited about.”
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Jackson Hastings recommended England to Tom Amone
Amone has revealed that former Wigan half-back Jackson Hastings, who has recently joined Wests Tigers, recommended England to him.
He said: “Jackson and I have the same manager. He told me to go over to England and said I’d love to play there. Jackson played under Adrian (Lam) at Wigan and said that Leigh would be a good club for me.
“My manager, too, advised that it would be a good move to go overseas, and that Leigh was a good club, with all the facilities and the fanbase and with Adrian being there.
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“I’m a little bit nervous but I’m also very excited and I can’t wait to get over to the UK and prepare for a big season ahead. I know what the ambitions of the club are, and I want to play my part in helping Leigh Centurions achieve their goal of getting back into Super League.
“Who knows? If things work out as planned, I may stay for a long time. I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and all the staff and fans.”
Amone has played at the Leigh Sports Village before. He was part of the Australian Schoolboys team that toured England and France in 2014. He later went on to represent the Junior Kiwis in 2016, where he played alongside recent Leigh signing Ata Hingano.