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Three players that Leigh Leopards should aim to sign after securing Adrian Lam

Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards tied down their most valuable off-contract asset this week with the club confirming that they had secured a new three-year deal with Adrian Lam to remain as their head coach.

Lam has undoubtedly brought the best rugby to the town of Leigh in decades and with his future now confirmed, the club can set about the retainment and recruitment of their playing squad for 2025.

They’ve already been dealt the huge blow that captain John Asiata will leave for Hull FC, the confirmation of that deal by Hull FC ruffling the feathers of Leopards’ owner Derek Beaumont.

Since then though his feathers may have been ruffled even more with reports that both Zak Hardaker and Oliver Holmes will head to the MKM Stadium for the 2025 season, whilst winger Tom Briscoe has already made the move in a swap deal for Darnell McIntosh.

Leigh Leopards still have a huge number of players off contract and despite recent boosts such as extensions for Matt Davis, Umyla Hanley and Gareth O’Brien, the future of Tom Amone and several others hangs in the balance.

It’s also been revealed that Ricky Leutele is one of the few Leopards players not to be offered a contract which suggests there will be a need at centre as well.

Which positions and players do Leigh Leopards need to target for 2025?

It would appear that the glaring needs for Leigh Leopards will be prop, particularly if Tom Amone does leave, loose forward after Asiata’s departure and centre with Leutele not having a contract offer on the table.

Interestingly, Ed Chamberlain and Jack Darbyshire are also on the list of players Leigh haven’t offered deals to, meaning a centre is almost certain to be top of Adrian Lam’s shopping list. Fortunately for Leigh, there are several elite centres on the market.

With that said, here are the three players from each respective position that Leigh Leopards could target.

Kevin Naiqama (Huddersfield Giants) – Centre

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Huddersfield Giants have two of the very best centres in Super League in Kevin Naiqama and Esan Marsters but unfortunately for Ian Watson, both men are off contract at the end of the current season.

It may be difficult to tie both players down to new deals with them both being quota players and presumably commanding a large wage given their impressive form, so with that in mind Huddersfield may opt to prioritise the younger man.

That would leave Kevin Naiqama out the door but the 35-year-old could well go around once more. He’s impressed at St Helens in the past as well so knows the ins and outs of Super League and would offer versatility across the whole back line.

Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers) – Loose forward/Utility

Leigh Leopards

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One man who could fill the void left by John Asiata and also cover a number of other positions would be Tyrone Peachey, the Penrith Panthers star. Peachey is adept at loose forward and in the halves whilst he has also done a job in the majority of positions on a rugby league field.

A former New South Wales representative, the 32-year-old is off contract at the end of the season and it could be time for him to head to Super League with a new deal at Penrith looking unlikely after having been dropped recently.

Another former State of Origin man worth a namecheck is Jack de Belin with the loose forward also looking unlikely to receive a new deal at his current club St George Illawarra Dragons. The PNG international has admitted it could be time to “cash in” and that may mean he’s set for Super League.

Gil Dudson (Warrington Wolves) – Prop

Credit: Imago Images

There aren’t as many prop forwards out of contract as there are centres but there are still plenty who have lots of Super League experience and multiple recruits could potentially make up the contributions and impact of Tom Amone in the aggregate, as opposed to with a direct sole replacement.

Gil Dudson would be one of those men to target with the Welsh international having plenty of Super League experience for a number of different clubs. Warrington have sent him out on loan to Salford which would indicate that he isn’t in their plans beyond this year, and Dudson can now put himself in the shop window for a team like Leigh Leopards potentially.

Someone who Leigh could potentially pair Dudson up with as a means of trying to replace Amone in the aggregate, should he leave, would be Mike Cooper at Wigan Warriors. Cooper wouldn’t have to move which is a major thing for players with families and he could have one more year with the other team in the Borough of Wigan.

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