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Leigh Leopards confirm major departure among flurry of signings

The focus tonight has been on the incomings at Leigh and their rebrand.

Now called the Leigh Leopards, they have made 10 major signings including the likes of Zak Hardaker and Ricky Leutele as they add major quality to their squad for next year.

In three attempts, Leigh have never gone longer than one season in Super League suffering relegation in 2005, 2017 and 2021.

Now, in 2023 they look more than capable of survival and could even push for the play-offs with the squad assembled by Adrian Lam, Chris Chester and of course owner Derek Beaumont.

However, among those incomings as Leigh confirmed their squad for next year, it seems one of the stars of their promotion campaign in Caleb Aekins is moving on.

There has been some uncertainty recently around the fullback who only signed a one-year deal with the club but many expected him to stay with the club in 2023 and have a crack at Super League after scoring tries for fun in the Championship.

However, he was not included in the squad named by Leigh today nor was Sam Stone.

Perhaps Aekins has been let go of due to signing of Zak Hardaker who may want to play fullback having spent the last few years bouncing between fullback and the centres.

With Aekins gone, Hardaker seems set to take over at fullback but what next for Aekins?

Likely let go off due to the need to remove some overseas players to fit the quota spots, this would make a Super League move difficult due to the fact many clubs have already used all seven spots but some still have openings.

So could he return to the NRL? Perhaps.

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