Off-contract full-back Caleb Aekins hoping to extend stay in England

Josh McAllister
Caleb Aekins. News Images

Off-contract Wales international Caleb Aekins is hoping to extend his stay in England but still remains without a club for the 2023 season.  

The 24-year-old full-back made the switch from the NRL ahead of the 2022 season with Leigh in the Championship on a one-year deal. However, despite being a part of their promotion-winning side under head coach Adrian Lam, his contract has not been extended for their Super League season in 2023.

Aekins featured for both Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders in the NRL, having made his debut in 2018.

He made 32 appearances for Leigh last season, crossing for 21 tries.

Speaking to Love Rugby League, the New Zealand-born player admits he wants to remain in the UK, with his manager set to fly over after the World Cup tournament. 

“I’m still working through it at the minute and trying to find something,” Aekins said. “Hopefully I can show what I can do during this World Cup.

“I’d like to stay over here another year. I’ve only been here a year, so I’d like to string together a couple of years. But I’m not opposed to going back, either. Just whatever pops up, to be honest.

“My manager back in Australia is coming over soon, so it will be good to catch up with him.”

Caleb Aekins representing Wales at World Cup

Aekins is currently a part of John Kear’s Wales squad and has featured in both of their group games so far against Cook Islands and Tonga. 

Yet to pick up their first win of the tournament, Wales face Papua New Guinea in Doncaster in the final day of the group stages.

“There’s a lot of heart in this team,” Aekins told Love Rugby League.

“That’s what I’ve noticed over the last few weeks. We may not be the biggest or strongest team, but we wear our hearts on our sleeves and I think that showed against Tonga. I think we can be proud of going up against a team like Tonga.

“That’s what we talk about, playing for the badge and leaving it all on the field. I think that’s showing through our performances. You can’t fault our effort and our heart.

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