Leigh Centurions are set to welcome a new signing to the Championship for their decisive battle for Super League promotion.
Edwin Ipape is currently in the air, according to Leigh owner Derek Beaumont, as he prepares to land at Manchester Airport.
The 23-year-old, who can play at hooker as well as halfback, signed for the Centurions back in January but has missed the start of the 2022 Championship season.
Ipape, 22, made his PNG international debut in 2019 and in his third game scored a sensational 65-metre try after breaking away from dummy half just before half-time in his side’s memorable 28-10 victory over Great Britain in Port Moresby.
More recently, he has been playing for PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup competition, after trials with NRL club Manly in 2020 were ended by the onset of the pandemic.
Head coach Adrian Lam had previously stated how delighted he was with the signing and said: “Edwin is a great signing for us in that he can play in a variety of positions. There are two main parts to his game. Firstly, he is an aggressive defender who makes his presence felt and secondly, he is incredibly quick and an elusive smart ball player. We hope to get him over here within a fortnight then he can get ready to make his debut.”
Head of Rugby Chris Chester explained the background to Ipape’s signing. “Edwin comes highly recommended, and Adrian has been keeping close tabs on him,” he said.
“Adrian mentioned him four or five weeks ago alongside another couple of PNG players and we are very pleased to get this deal over the line. It’s been a smooth process and Edwin can’t wait to get over here and get started.
“He’s a player who can play in a number of positions, 6, 7, 9 or 13 or even as a middle and he’s a no-nonsense type of player who doesn’t take a backward step. He runs well enough, as you’ll see if you watch his video clips, and hits hard defensively.”
He is sure to put his own stamp on the Championship with Leigh.