Leigh “wouldn’t want Sam Tomkins”, says Parker


Leigh prop Rob Parker has played down the recently announced partnership with Wigan, and says the Centurions still have their own direction.

There have been a number of partnerships between Super League clubs and their Championship equivalents this season, causing much debate over whether it is leading the game down the feeder club route.

A lot of focus has been given to dual-registered players, with the likes of Paul Wood and Richard Moore turning out in the Championship this season for Swinton and Hunslet respectively.

Leigh, along with Featherstone, Sheffield and Halifax, had initially shied away from an official partnership, although the Centurions recently hooked up with the Warriors, albeit with a few stipulated restrictions on the use of Super League players.

Parker said: “Listen, it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. We’ve had a partnership with Wigan for a couple of years now. And as much as they’re great players, we wouldn’t want Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards or Matty Smith playing for us. 

“We’ve had Tom Spencer and a couple of others who’ve come here because they wanted to help Leigh Centurions, they buy into our core values and ethos. They enjoy the club and what we’re about, and they can learn a lot in a year with us. 

“We’re helping each other out, and to be fair the lads who have come down so far have completely understood what Leigh is about and where we need to be. I know for some fans it goes against the grain to be in partnership with Wigan, but I want to reassure them there’s no difference from previous seasons. 

“Paul Rowley still knows exactly where he wants to go with Leigh and what team he’s picking. So if we can tap into some good young local talent that’s brilliant for us.”

Parker, a Challenge Cup winner with Bradford in 2003, will line up for the Centurions against East Leeds in the cup on Saturday, the second game of a double-header at the Leigh Sports Village, which also hosts Swinton’s tie with Toulouse.

Leigh Sports Village will also host a game at the World Cup between Tonga and the Cook Islands on November 5th.


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