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Leigh Centurions announce major NRL signing as they bring John Asiata to the Championship

Leigh Centurions have announced their latest signing in a totally unique fashion.

Martyn Clarke, who is going to complete seven half-Ironman challenges in seven days, announced the signing of John Asiata on day five of his gruelling and torturous trial in tandem with Leigh owner Derek Beaumont who has been helping Clarke throughout his ordeal.

Beaumont has already committed to buying all his staff at AB Sundecks and his Leigh players T-shirts designed by Clarke and eve handed over £1000 to his campaign.

If you are uncertain as to what an Ironman challenge consists of, then prepared to be shocked: it involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile run, raced in that order.

Of course, Clarke is doing half of that so it will consist of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile cycle and 13.1-mile run.

Clarke is going to do that seven times, consecutively, to raise money for Rob Burrow and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Beaumont has done magnificently well to raise awareness of Clarke’s exploits and now Clarke was given the opportunity to announce some good news for Centurions fans.

Asiata had parted ways with Canterbury Bulldogs for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Born in Penrith, New South Wales, with a Samoan father and Tongan mother, Asiata was educated at the famous Patrician Brothers’ College in Blacktown, whose alumni of famous sportsmen, particularly Rugby League players, is astonishing. He came through the junior ranks of Parramatta Eels and then Sydney Roosters, chosen for the National Youth Competition team of the year in 2013 and followed Roosters NYC coach Paul Green when he took over at the Cowboys as head coach in 2014.

In seven seasons with the Cowboys, Asiata played 129 games and was a key member of the grand final winning team in 2015, coming off the bench in their 17-16 golden point win over Brisbane Broncos, the Broncos’ first defeat in seven grand finals. He later played for the Cowboys in their 38-4 victory over Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Championship the following February.

The Cowboys reached the grand final again in 2017. losing to Melbourne Storm, but Asiata was again one of their stand-out players throughout the campaign, ever-present in all 28 games. In 2019 he demonstrated his versatility by starting 12 games in the halves. When Green left the Cowboys during the 2020 season, Asiata joined the Bulldogs for the 2021 season.

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