Betfred Championship Leigh Centurions

Saint Douglas moves to Championship club

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Luke Douglas of St Helens has joined Betfred Championship club Leigh Centurions on an initial one-month loan deal, days after the clubs confirmed a dual-registration agreement between the two for 2019.

While the 32-year-old front-rower made over thirty appearances last season for the Saints, missing only two of the club’s league and cup matches in the process, the return to fitness of England international Alex Walmsley and arrival of Joseph Paulo from the NRL has seen the Scotland man fall down the pecking order. The forward has huge experience, having made in excess of 300 appearances throughout his career across both the NRL and Super League.

The Centurions’ head coach John Duffy has worked previously with Douglas with the Scottish national team and the 38-year-old emphasised the positives of Douglas’ approach to the game. “I have known Luke for a number of years and he is the most professional player I have ever come into contact with during my time in rugby league,” he told the media following the signing’s confirmation. “He’s a smart fit into our side at a crucial stage of the season and will add so many qualities as well as a steadying influence. He’s got lots of great experience and is a cool head in any situation,” Duffy added.

Leigh kick off their campaign on Sunday 3rd February with a home match against Toulouse, the French team being one of the teams expected to be competing at the top end of the table throughout the season.

Betfred Championship Championship and League One Featherstone Rovers

Rovers sign Eel King

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Championship side Featherstone Rovers have confirmed the signing of former Parramatta hooker Cameron King on a one-year deal, the club have confirmed.

King, 27, was out of contract with the NRL Eels at the end of 2018 and had been using social media in a bid to find a club for 2019 after offers were otherwise not forthcoming. Rovers’ new head coach Ryan Carr, himself also an Australian, has taken advantage of King’s situation and the Fev faithful will no doubt be excited to see what their ex-NRL man can offer the club as they look to rebuild through this season.

“I’m very excited to have Cameron joining our club for the 2019 season,” Carr told the media following the announcement of the 43-time NRL player signing with the LD Nutrition Stadium club. “He is a very talented hooker with plenty of NRL experience and will be a huge asset for us at Featherstone this year,” the Rovers head coach added. Noting his personal relationship with King, Carr outlined his confidence that the hooker – who scored the match-winning try for the Eels against Wigan in the 2011 World Club Challenge – would be a good fit for the club. “I know what a great person he is to have in a club. His work ethic and commitment are extremely professional, and he will bring great leadership both on and off the field,” he explained, continuing that “I’m very excited to be working with him and having him at our club for the upcoming season.”

Featherstone will host leading amateurs Hunslet Club Parkside on Saturday afternoon after the pair lost their opening Yorkshire Cup fixtures last weekend.

Championship and League One York City Knights

Petersen pens York deal

Forward Dave Petersen has signed a deal with York City Knights for 2019 after a successful period on trial with the club.

The 26-year-old began his career with Hull KR before spells with Workington, Oxford and Bradford Bulls to name just three prior to overseas stints with Australia’s Mackay Cutters and Boston 13s in the USA. Petersen featured for the Knights in their Boxing Day defeat at Bradford where head coach James Ford was suitably impressed with his showing. “Dave acquitted himself really well on Boxing Day in two vital positions at hooker and loose-forward,” he told the club’s official website, adding that Petersen fits the club’s philosophies, outlining him as a good recruit for the club. “He embodies a lot of what we are about in terms of effort, never giving in and working as hard as he can for his team mates.” 

The forward is set to feature again for the Knights in their second pre-season outing and their first in the revamped Yorkshire Cup competition as they face amateurs Hunslet Club Parkside this afternoon in a double-header at Dewsbury’s Tetleys Stadium.

Betfred Championship Championship and League One Leigh Centurions

Woods makes Leigh move

Wigan Warriors’ young half-back Josh Woods has completed a one-year loan move to Leigh Centurions, the clubs announced today.

Woods, 20, made eleven appearances for Wigan in 2018 with thirteen more coming during a spell with Swinton Lions. In the Warriors’ jersey, he scored two tries but will no doubt remember most fondly his last-gasp drop goal which gave the cherry and whites a 13-12 victory over Warrington in July. The news of his temporary move to Leigh came shortly after Wigan announced that Woods, Sam Powell and Harry Smith had each signed new three-year deals with the club.

John Duffy, the new Leigh head coach after moving from Featherstone, told the media tha “it will be a dream come true for Josh and his dad, Mick as they are both ardent Leigh Centurions fans and season ticket holders on the North Stand.” The former player explained his belief that Woods can really help the Centurions as they look to rebuild as a part-time club in 2019. “Josh is a very classy half-back and has already gained a lot of experience in both Super League and the Championship, playing on dual registration in the past two seasons at Swinton Lions,” he said, adding that the opportunity to team up with fellow new signing Martyn Ridyard in Centurions colours. “He’ll greatly benefit from the experience he’ll get here. This will serve him and Wigan Warriors well in the future, so it’s a win-win for everyone,” Duffy added.

Woods himself expressed his delight at moving to the club he follows. “I can’t wait to pull on a Leigh Centurions shirt. It all feels a bit weird at the moment. I’ve supported Leigh all my life and it will be great to play for the club,” he told the media following the announcement. “I will still train at Wigan every day and join up with Leigh on a Thursday evening for the team training so I’ll get the best of both worlds.”