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Leigh Centurions tie down Chris Chester

Leigh Centurions have appointed Chris Chester as appointed head of rugby on a two-year deal.

Chester, 42, has vast recent experience as a head coach with Hull Kingston Rovers (2014-16), Wakefield Trinity (2016-21) and Scotland after enjoying a fine playing career that saw him make 230 Super League appearances between 1996 and 2008.

A former England Schools captain, Wakefield born Chester played with distinction for Halifax, Wigan, Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers, winning a Challenge

Cup winner’s medal with Hull FC in 2005 and playing in two grand finals for Wigan.

Speaking about his appointment Chester said: “This is a role that really excites me. Leigh Centurions is a big club and with the restructure plans for the game of Rugby League there are exciting times ahead for this club.

“I have a good relationship with (owner) Derek Beaumont, (head of operations) Neil Jukes and the chairman, Mike Latham and I can’t wait to get started.

“Since leaving Wakefield I’ve had time to reflect and recharge my batteries and this role gives me an opportunity to build something really strong. I will get the right people involved, as players and staff, to ensure the club fulfils its great potential.

“There are still plenty of players available, both here and overseas and so we have the opportunity to make quality additions to the group of players that are already contracted for next year.”

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: “I am delighted to bring Chris to our club. He is a fantastic bloke who is vastly experienced in the game, from playing to coaching both at Hull KR and over a prolonged period in a tough seat at Wakefield where he has not had the luxury of budgets afforded to other coaches in the game.

“His knowledge of players at all levels and dealing with agents will be significant in what he can bring to the club.

“I had previously spoken to (interim head coach) Kurt (Haggerty) and declared also in a public forum that I was bringing in a high profile NRL coach that would have been my biggest single investment in an individual in my time at the club.

“That person was unable to secure a release, having initially been advised he could, and therefore it was back to the drawing board.

“When I spoke with Kurt initially about the proposed NRL appointment, he was disappointed and felt that he could succeed with a strong head of rugby supporting him. Having had lengthy discussions with Chris about various aspects I am fully confident that I can give him full autonomy to make the right decisions over the whole rugby department from coaches and backroom staff to the recruitment of players and to deal with all matters rugby related.

“This will enable myself and Neil to concentrate on my business, whilst always being available to offer support wherever needed, although that is most likely to be approving budget extensions!”

Mr Beaumont continued: “Chris will also focus on building on the college team and the strong relationship we have with them to work with the RFL towards being able to ultimately establish a Category A Academy that can proudly represent our town and the legendary Tommy Sale.

“Chris has a great work ethic which will be needed. He knows me well and he knows my ambition for the club and is keen and excited to achieve those goals with me, which is why he has taken this position outside of the coaching opportunities he has been offered.

“He will start tomorrow so I am sure the media team will be busy in the coming days and weeks as he gets to grips with completing the building of our side for 2022 and beyond.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alan Rigby

    September 29, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Seems like a good move to me. Why go for an overseas man for the job when we have coaches over here who are just as experienced Well done Derek Beaumont and good luck to Chris Chester

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