Where Are They Now? The only Leigh squad to have beaten Wigan Warriors in Super League

Aaron Bower
Harrison Hansen, Cory Paterson, Danny Tickle

Harrison Hansen (left), Cory Paterson (middle) & Danny Tickle (right, being tackled) all formed part of the Leigh Centurions side which beat Wigan Warriors in 2017

Leigh Leopards will host local rivals Wigan Warriors on Thursday evening in another eagerly-anticipated ‘Battle of the Borough’.

It will be the 11th time the two sides have met in Super League and so far, Wigan have won nine of the previous ten – with Leigh’s solitary win coming in June 2017, when they won 50-34 at the Leigh Sports Village.

That team were ultimately relegated – but what about the 17 who took to the field on that famous night for Leigh? Here’s what happened next in their careers..

Gregg McNally

A player synonymous with Leigh’s success in the mid-2010s, McNally started at fullback the night they defeated Wigan at the Leigh Sports Village.

He left the club at the end of 2017 following their relegation and eventually signed with Bradford Bulls. He returned to Leigh in 2019 for a second spell, and is still currently playing in the professional game at Rochdale Hornets.

Matty Dawson-Jones

Matty Dawson-Jones, Stevie Ward
Leigh Centurions’ Matty Dawson-Jones tackles Leeds Rhinos’ Stevie Ward during a Challenge Cup tie in 2018

Dawson-Jones, one of the seven different scorers that night for Leigh did remain with the club after their relegation from Super League. He stayed with them in the Championship in 2018 but the following year, signed for Hull FC, where he made a solitary appearance.

Dawson-Jones then joined Bradford and spent three seasons with the Bulls before moving across Yorkshire to Sheffield Eagles, where he remains to this day. He scored against Wigan in the Eagles’ recent Challenge Cup defeat at the DW Stadium.

Mitch Brown

Centre Brown’s arrival midway through Leigh’s promotion season was viewed as a significant signing, and his form while in Super League during 2017 ultimately earned him a move to Warrington Wolves. However, he spent only one season with the Wire before returning Down Under – to embark on a career as a mortgage broker.

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Cory Paterson

Cory Paterson
Cory Paterson in 2017

Paterson was another who left Leigh following their relegation – but a year later he was back with the club following a one-year stint with Toronto Wolfpack. However, he walked away from the professional game at the end of 2019, eventually opening a string of coffee shops. He returned to Salford Red Devils as their player welfare manager in 2022, but is now an actor.

Ryan Hampshire

Hampshire will be at the Leigh Sports Village on Thursday night – but as a member of the opposition. He joined Wakefield Trinity after Leigh’s relegation, spending a number of seasons with his boyhood club before eventually joining Wigan at the beginning of last season.

Ben Reynolds

Ben Reynolds
Ben Reynolds in action for Leigh Centurions in 2017

Reynolds remained with Leigh after their relegation, eventually leaving at the end of 2018. He spent time with the likes of Wakefield and Toulouse before returning to Leigh in 2021. He was part of the squad that won the Challenge Cup last season, and then ultimately joined Featherstone in the off-season before signing for Hull KR.

Josh Drinkwater

Drinkwater has remained in Super League ever since his two seasons with Leigh in 2016 and 2017. He has had two spells with Catalans Dragons as well as a solitary season with Hull Kingston Rovers – and he is now part of the squad at Warrington Wolves.

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Jamie Acton

Jamie Acton
Leigh Centurions’ Jamie Acton is tackled during a Challenge Cup tie against Leeds Rhinos in 2018

Acton took an unconventional career path after leaving rugby league when he was released by Leigh, training to become an MMA fighter! The records show he had a number of fights, the last of which was in 2022. Acton is also a fitness coach and has his own gym in Wigan.

Eloi Pelissier

One of a number of players still in the game, Pelissier returned to France with Lezignan after Leigh’s relegation in 2017. He then came back to England for a spell with London Broncos, before joining Toulouse Olympique: the club he remains with to this day.

Dayne Weston

Dayne Weston
Dayne Weston in action for Penrith Panthers in the NRL in 2012

Former Penrith and Melbourne forward Dayne Weston was forced into retirement just weeks after Leigh’s famous victory over Wigan, due to ankle surgery. He returned home to Australia where he founded Men of Gold, an organisation that aims to support male mental health by hosting safe space environments for men to share their feelings.

Danny Tickle

Long-serving Super League forward Tickle had spells with Hull KR and Workington Town after leaving Leigh, before his professional career came to an end following the 2019 season.

Harrison Hansen

Harrison Hansen Wigan Warriors Alamy

Much like Pelissier, Hansen is currently playing his rugby in the south of France with Toulouse.

Glenn Stewart

Former Australian international Stewart’s playing career came to an end after Leigh were relegated from Super League in 2017. We weren’t able to find out anything about Stewart after that so if you know, let us know!

TEST YOURSELF: Can you name the 17 players to score 150 tries in the Super League era?

Liam Hood (sub)

Liam Hood, Kris Welham
Leigh Centurions’ Liam Hood gets away from Salford City Reds’ Kris Welham at Magic Weekend in 2017

Hood is still active in the professional game, playing in the Championship with Wakefield Trinity.

Antoni Maria (sub)

Maria returned to Catalans Dragons after Leigh’s relegation in 2017, spending a further three seasons with the Dragons – with a short stint on loan at Hull KR in 2019. He entered the French leagues with Lezignan before signing for Albi at the beginning of this year at the age of 37.

Lachlan Burr (sub)

Lachlan Burr
Leigh Centurions’ Lachlan Burr in action at the 2017 Super League Magic Weekend against Salford City Reds

Burr secured a return to Australia after his one and only season in England with Leigh, signing for Canterbury to play for their New South Wales Cup team in 2018. He then returned to the NRL with New Zealand Warriors in 2019 before a move to North Queensland for 2021. He ultimately was forced into retirement in early-2022 though due to a chronic hip injury.

Sam Hopkins (sub)

Hopkins joined Toronto Wolfpack in 2018 after leaving Leigh, spending two seasons with the Canadian club before joining Workington Town for two seasons. He finished his professional career with a move to Rochdale Hornets.

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