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Leigh Leopards pull off major coup to land David Armstrong

The Leigh Leopards are in the midst of a major rebuild of their playing squad for the 2025 season. A number of high-profile names are set to depart the club at the end of the season, creating space on the club’s salary cap to complete an overhaul of their squad.

Key figures such as John Asiata, Tom Amone and Kai O’Donnell have already confirmed moves for 2025, with Amone moving to Hull FC and Amone and O’Donnell returning to the NRL, to join the Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys respectively.

This frees up a signinficant amount of space on the salary cap for Leigh and, crucially, quota spots to bring in new signings from overseas. The departure of forward, Ben Nakubuwai, on loan to Featherstone Rovers, allowed the Leopards to bring in Aaron Pene for the remainder of the 2024 season, with Pene impressing on debut against the Leeds Rhinos.

Now, the Leopards have completed a major transfer coup for the 2025 season, by announcing the capture of Newcastle Knights full-back, David Armstrong.

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Leigh Leopards confirm signing of David Armstrong

David Armstrong connected to Leigh Leopards

Credit: Getty Images

Leigh Leopards have confirmed the signing of David Armstrong from the Newcastle Knights, he will join the Leopards for the 2025 season. Armstrong looked set to remain at Newcastle for the 2025 season, having reportedly agreed a new deal. However, he reversed that decision, opting to remain at Leigh.

Newcastle had reportedly considered blocking Armstrong’s move to Leigh, however, they released a statement earlier today which confirmed Armstrong would be allowed to leave. Now, Leigh have confirmed the capture of Armstrong. A Leigh club statement confirming the deal states:

“Leigh Leopards are delighted to confirm the signing of Newcastle Knights fullback David Armstrong on a three-year contract from the start of the 2025 season.

“Talented, brave and very quick, Armstrong, 23, made his NRL debut for the Knights in 2024. He scored a hat-trick in their recent 28-24 victory over Gold Coast Titans in the Magic Round at Brisbane.”

Head coach Lam can’t wait to “unleash” Armstrong

Leigh Leopards Adrian Lam

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking in the club statement confirming the deal, Leigh coach, Adrian Lam, spoke of his excitement at unleashing Armstrong on Super League defences. He believes the flying full-back will add another dimension to Leigh’s attack.

Head coach Adrian Lam said: “I can’t wait to unleash David Armstrong on the Super League next season.

“He’s going to really add a lot of X Factor to our team.

“He is someone we have been tracking for a while so it’s great to finally have that over the line.”

Leigh Leopards owner, Derek Beaumont, is also delighted to add Armstrong to the Leigh squad. He believed it is a real statement of intent from the club and highlights the club’s growing reputation as an attractive place to play. Beaumont said:

“This is a fantastic signing for our club and is testament of how far we have come in a short space of time, to be recognised as a solid Super League club, that an emerging NRL talent sees as the place to spend the next three years.

“I also believe this is a great signing for the Super League as a whole and shows that our competition, not just our club, is a good environment to progress as a player and enjoy your rugby.

“For a long time, Super League clubs have always been associated with taking players the NRL feel have done their bit and are being replaced by younger emerging players.

“So, to be able to sign a young player of Armstrong’s quality, despite his club wanting to retain him and believing they had, as well as an offer from another NRL club, is something we should be proud of as a competition. Hopefully this can continue throughout other clubs.

“Yes, we may lose players to the NRL and indeed players of Armstrong’s quality may return there in time but attracting quality at a young age is a big step in the right direction.

“I look forward to seeing him being part of “the roar” next season but until then I am looking forward to enjoying seeing the continuing efforts of this fantastic group of people, we currently have who showed without doubt in Perpignan just what commitment to this club they have.”

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