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Love Island star joins Championship club on loan as he prepares for Super League return

Leigh Leopards' Keanan Brand is about to kick the ball at Stade Gilbert Brutus

Leigh Leopards centre Keanan Brand has joined Barrow Raiders on a short-term loan deal.

Brand arrives on an initial one-month loan, although the Leopards will have a call-back option on the player after two weeks of the move.

He has not featured yet in 2023, having undergone a double hernia operation during the off-season following his inclusion in Ireland’s Rugby League World Cup squad.

The 24-year-old has made 36 appearances for Leigh over the last two seasons, scoring 14 tries in total. He also helped them to promotion to the Betfred Super League last season.

He previous enjoyed time at Warrington Wolves and Widnes, with whom he began his career and made his Super League debut in 2018.

Earlier this year, Brand also made headlines off the pitch when he entered ITV reality dating show Love Island following in the footsteps of Jacques O’Neill who has returned to Castleford Tigers recently and is now training.

Now the centre will enjoy a spell at the Matt Johnson Prestige Stadium as he works his way back to full fitness and looks to earn a place in Adrian Lam’s Leopards side.

Barrow Raiders head coach Paul Crarey said: “We have taken Keanan Brand from Leigh Leopards on a month’s loan to help ease the injuries to our backline.

“Keanan was a regular player in last season’s championship-winning Leigh team. He is a dynamic strike centre and proven try-scorer at this level and will ease the pressure on our own backline as we look to develop players throughout the season.

“We look forward to having him with us, and I would personally like to thank Chris Chester, the Leigh club and Andy Gaffney for getting the deal over the line.”

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