Leigh Leopards have confirmed their 2023 squad numbers and with that their first choice 13 for the new Super League season as Adrian Lam looks to do something no Leigh coach has done before: keep them in Super League having suffered relegation in 2005, 2017 and 2021.
In naming their squad numbers, Zak Hardaker’s position has been confirmed.
Throughout his career, especially during his time at Wigan Warriors, Hardaker played anywhere in the backs.
Then at Leeds Rhinos he bounced from centre to fullback starting the 2022 Grand Final at right centre as he did way back in 2011.
However, Hardaker will return to his preferred position of fullback it seems as he was given the number one shirt.
His former Leeds teammate Tom Briscoe takes the number two shirt whilst he seems set to be joined on the wing by former Warrington Wolves flyer Josh Charnley. The two were confirmed as the wingers because of Blake Ferguson’s departure on compassionate grounds whilst new signing Umyla Hanley takes 26.
Ed Chamberlain and former Huddersfield Giants centre Ricky Leutele are the club’s first choice centres in 2023.
Whilst there is no place in the first choice halves for Ben Reynolds or new signing from Castleford Tigers Gareth O’Brien as Joe Mellor and Lachlan Lam are set to start the season as the first choice halves.
New signing from Warrington Wolves Rob Mulhern joins Edwin Ipape and Tom Amone in the Leopards’ first choice front row whilst is former Warrington teammate Jack Hughes joins Joe Wardle in the backrow as fellow new recruits from Warrington Oliver Holmes, Matt Davis and Jacob Gannon miss out on the first 13 as does former Newcastle Thunder man Nathan Wilde.
The loose-forward is 2022 star John Asiata.
1 Zak Hardaker
2 Tom Briscoe
3 Ed Chamberlain
4 Ricky Leutele
5 Josh Charnley
6 Joe Mellor
7 Lachlan Lam
8 Tom Amone
9 Edwin Ipape
10 Rob Mulhern
11 Joe Wardle
12 Jack Hughes
13 John Asiata