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Leigh Leopards to sign David Armstrong after outbidding Newcastle Knights

Leigh Leopards David Armstrong

In a dramatic U-turn, Leigh Leopards target David Armstrong is set to snub a new contract with current club Newcastle Knights and instead sign a three-year deal with the Super League side.

Leigh Leopards and Adrian Lam particularly have made it clear that full-back David Armstrong is a player that they are interested in with the first reports linking the Papua New Guinean full-back emerging early this year.

At the time, Lam explained that the club were at full quota and had been knocked back but they’ve still kept an eye on the 23-year-old in the months since. During that time, Armstrong has emerged as Newcastle’s saviour with starting full-back and captain Kayln Ponga going down injured.

Armstrong has stepped into the reigning Daly M Medal winner’s shoes and performed admirably, scoring five tries in five including a hattrick in Round 11.

Last week, it seemed certain that Armstrong was set to reject Leigh Leopards and re-sign with the Knights but reports this morning from The Daily Telegraph suggest that the 23-year-old has backflipped on that decision.

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Leigh Leopards to land NRL full-back finally

David Armstrong celebrates. He was linked with Leigh Leopards

Credit: Getty Images

The Telegraph have reported that despite agreeing to a new deal just last week, Armstrong has told officials at the club that he intends to leave and make a move to Super League.

Newcastle had offered the 23-year-old a two-year-deal with the club fighting off Sydney Roosters and “at least one other club” to get Armstrong’s signature, as reported by The Mole.

Fast forward just days and it seems Armstrong’s future is actually in England with Leigh Leopards outbidding Newcastle, offering a more lucrative deal on a three-year contract.

It would be a huge coup for Leigh Leopards who are set to lose plenty of their overseas stars with John Asiata, Tom Amone, Kai O’Donnell and Ricky Leutele all confirmed to be leaving the club. albeit centre Leutele is yet to sign for another side.

Ben Nakubuwai is also off-contract and has been loaned to Featherstone Rovers for the remainder of the season, meaning Leigh will potentially have five quota spots to play with and it seems that Armstrong is set to be one of those.

What has Adrian Lam said about David Armstrong?

Leigh Leopards Adrian Lam in a suit. Super League

Credit: Imago Images

Speaking back in March, Lam spoke on the need for a back after Tom Briscoe went down injured and on Armstrong particularly, he held his cards close to his chest.

He said: “I think it’s always an opportunity or chance to keep our eyes open for players like that and we’ve made it very clear that he’s a player that I’ve followed, supported and I like the way he plays.

“I think it’s one that we’ll keep in our back pocket until an opportunity comes up, or keep our eyes open for that and other players who are available to make our team better. He is certainly one of them.

“We’ll probably know a little bit more about that as the season unfolds.”

In April, Lam would comment again: “It’s a position that we’ve been looking at for a little while and you know, David Armstrong has been of interest to me and Chessie and the group, without a doubt.

“He’s someone that we would see fit in this environment really, really well and the style of play that we play will suit him. We’re always open to looking at anyone coming off contract that’s going to make us better, whether it’s during the season or off-season.

“He is a player that we are interested in. It’s not working out at the moment but that’s what happens.”

Two months on and it’s now being reported that Armstrong will be a Leigh Leopards player from 2025 through till 2027, a huge scoop for the club.

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