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.

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.”

Betfred Championship Bradford Bulls

Bulls sign Evans for 2019

After his departure from Leigh Centurions, Betfred Championship newcomers Bradford Bulls have secured the services of centre Rhys Evans until the end of the 2019 campaign.

The Warrington Wolves academy graduate made over a century of appearances for the Halliwell Jones Stadium club before joining Leigh ahead of last season, linking up with a team he represented on loan in 2011. However, despite signing a two-year deal with the Centurions ahead of 2018, the club’s financial difficulties saw Leigh having to clear all of their contracted players out. Evans and fellow recent departure Kevin Larroyer (Halifax) were the last two to move on after turning down Leigh’s settlement offers to terminate their contracts. After their departures from the Centurions were agreed, though, Evans became one of the better free agents still available – and John Kear’s Bulls moved to add the 26-year-old to their ranks.

Having already signed former Castleford and interational centre Jake Webster for next season, Evans will likely form part of one of the most experienced and threatening centre partnerships in the second tier in 2019. After confirming his arrival, Kear told the club’s official site that he believes the former Wales international will make a big impact at the club. “With his introduction, there’s going to be even further competition for places in an extremely impressive three-quarter line. He brings a lot of experience to the side and we know from his career history that he is going to be a menace in the Championship,” he explained.