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Leigh Leopards set to lose 17 players for 2025 as squad is raided

Leigh Leopards

On Monday night, Hull FC confirmed the signing of Leigh Leopards centre Zak Hardaker making him their fourth signing for 2025 and making Hardaker the fourth man confirmed to be exiting the Leigh Sports Village.

Since the announcement just over 36 hours ago, there have been a further two confirmed exits which takes the total to six. However, Leigh themselves have only actually confirmed two of those with the Leopards having responded to announcements regarding captain Tom Asiata and NRL-bound Tom Amone.

The other four ‘confirmed’ exits, Ollie Holmes, Zak Hardaker, Ed Chamberlain and Kai O’Donnell have simply been confirmed by their future club and not by Leigh Leopards. Like Amone, forward O’Donnell will also return to the NRL with North Queensland Cowboys confirming his signature.

There are also multiple Leigh players that have not been offered a contract for 2025 and with such a heavy turnover expected, we’ve assessed the 17 players currently either confirmed, reported or set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Leigh Leopards Quiz: Can you name these former Super League players? #2

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Leigh Leopards in line to lose 17 players for 2025

The 17 players that could exit Leigh Leopards at the end of the season can be split into three categories; those confirmed by Leigh Leopards, those confirmed by a rival club and those not offered a contract.

Players that Leigh Leopards have confirmed will leave

John Asiata Hull FC Leigh Leopards

Credit: Imago Images

The list here is fairly short with just two names but the first man to make it was John Asiata whose confirmed move to Hull was a huge point of contention in early May and led to Leopards owner Derek Beaumont labelling the Black and Whites as “desperate”.

Beaumont took issue with the fact that Hull FC reported the deal before the teams had agreed on releasing that information, claiming that they had thrown Asiata under the bus. Nevertheless, Leigh did confirm the news that Asiata is set to take up a three-year contract at the MKM Stadium.

The other confirmed exit is another overseas forward in Tom Amone. He’s heading to Canterbury Bulldogs where the club’s Director of Rugby Gus Gould has labelled him as “the best prop in Super League”, something that is very hard to argue with.

Players that other clubs have confirmed

Zak Hardaker Hull FC

Credit: Imago Images

Currently, neither Zak Hardaker’s move to Hull FC nor Kai O’Donnell’s move to North Queensland Cowboys has been officially confirmed by the club. That’s in spite of confirmation from their respective clubs for 2025.

32-year-old Hardaker leaves after two seasons with the club, whilst O’Donnell returns back down under to the club whose academy he came through before debuting for Canberra Raiders in 2020.

Another two names have very recently joined this list as Hull FC announced last night that they had signed Ed Chamberlain and Ollie Holmes. Irish international, Chamberlain, been on loan at FC already this season but was recalled in the aftermath of the John Asiata fallout, however, have FC have now confirmed that the centre will return on a permanent deal for 2025.

It’s quite an incredible feat for a club to sign four players from the same team in one transfer window but that is what has happened with Oliver Holmes now announced to be playing in Black and White in 2025. Hull Daily Mail had reported that Oliver Holmes was on his way to the club, something that was first noted back in May before confirmation of that deal came through last night.

Players that are off contract

Ricky Leutele celebrates scoring a Super League try for Leigh Leopards

Credit: Imago Images

This is by far the longest list of players, however, it can also be split into two groups; players that are off-contract and players that will not be offered a contract.

After the May 1st deadline when teams can officially start talking to off-contract players, Super League teams made it known to the RFL which of their players they had not offered a contract to. This is in order to give other clubs notice that a player is freely available.

Leigh Leopards had five players on that list, one of whom is Ed Chamberlain and has reportedly found a new club already. That leaves four others who seem certain to leave the club in Jack Darbyshire, Jacob Gannon, Jacob Jones and Ricky Leutele.

The other group of off-contract players could yet be offered a new deal but as yet without an announcement, they are set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Those men are Jack Hughes, Ben Nakubuwai, Keanan Brand, Nathan Wilde, Tom Nisbet, Lewis Baxter and Kavan Rothwell, taking the total number of players that Leigh Leopards are set to lose to 17.

Leigh have confirmed that NRL full-back David Armstrong will be arriving at the club but they will need a huge influx of other players to quash their outgoing talent.

Players Leigh Leopards are currently set to lose for 2025

Confirmed by Leigh
John Asiata (Hull FC)
Tom Amone (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Not confirmed by Leigh
Ed Chamberlain (Hull FC)
Kai O’Donnell (North Queensland Cowboys)
Oliver Holmes (Hull FC)
Zak Hardaker (Hull FC)
Not offered a new contract
Jack Darbyshire
Jacob Gannon
Jacob Jones
Ricky Leutele
Ben Nakubuwai
Jack Hughes
Kavan Rothwell
Keanan Brand
Lewis Baxter
Nathan Wilde
Tom Nisbet

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