Leigh Centurions hand deal to New Zealander

Leigh Centurions have confirmed that Mark Ioane has signed a new contract for the 2022 Betfred Championship campaign.

The 31-year-old former Junior Kiwi earned Heritage Number HN#1500 on his debut against Sheffield Eagles in 2020 and made 16 appearances during the recent Betfred Super League campaign.

Auckland born Ioane, who previously spent four seasons with London Broncos having played in the NRL for both Gold Coast Titans and St George Illawarra, was delighted to commit to another year at Leigh Sports Village.

“I’m looking forward to next season and can’t wait to get started,” he said. “2021 was a tough year and things didn’t go our way, but we move on.

“We’re bringing in some good, experienced players and young recruits and it’s going to be an exciting season- and hopefully a successful one.”

Despite living 12,000 miles from home during the pandemic Ioane and his partner, who is expecting twins early in the New Year have embraced life in Leigh.

“The community has been great to us, and we want to stay here long term,” he said. “We get along with all the fans and our neighbours and we love living here.

“We’re a long way from home, but this is our home now.”

Leigh Centurions head of rugby Chris Chester said: “Our recruitment strategy is based around signing good players and good people and everything I’ve heard about Mark has been positive. He’s just as good off the field as he is on the field.

“Mark is an experienced player who has been in the NRL and experienced some good systems and in 2021 he showed a lot of good qualities in a struggling team. I could see those qualities every week and that goes a long way.”

Mark Ioane is sponsored by HydraMed. “They’ve been more than great sponsors to me,” Ioane added. “They are always looking out for me and backing me since I arrived. They have been a great support for me.”

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