Chris Chester reveals the men behind “world class” Zak Hardaker’s move from Leeds Rhinos to Leigh Leopards

Last night Leigh made a statement with their rebrand and recruitment.

Now the Leigh Leopards, the club have signed 10 new players and unveiled them last night.

Some were tied up a long time ago but not revealed meanwhile one man was a late addition to the squad assembled by Adrian Lam, Chris Chester and Derek Beaumont.

That man was Zak Hardaker. Hardaker was expected by many to stay at Leeds in 2023 after a solid second half of the season since re-joining the Rhinos from Wigan.

It seemed even Leeds believed as such with the player not given the farewell others received in the squad as they worked to open the cap space to retain him.

However, when they did put an offer down for him, Hardaker was reportedly “gutted” by it believing that it didn’t reflect what he was worth.

This offer couldn’t compare with the offer tabled by Leigh with the Leopards working hard behind the scenes to get what Chris Chester has described as a “world class” player to the club in just a week.

But how did Leigh pull this off? Well, their Director of Rugby Chester has revealed the men behind the deal.

Speaking after the signing of Hardaker, Chester said: “We are delighted to get a world-class player over the line like Zak.

“His form with Leeds last year was exceptional and is an international quality player who has worked with Adrian at Wigan in previous years.

“He will bring in a lot of quality and experience, into what is already a very strong Leigh side and we’re delighted he is joining the club despite having interest from other Super League clubs.

“A big thanks goes out to Sam and Liam Ayoub in getting this deal done in the last week.”

The two work for Ultra Management Sports with Sam being the manager of the likes of Johnathan Thurston in the past whilst Liam played for Penrith in 2009.

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