Tony Clubb makes Championship move

Leigh Centurions have confirmed that Tony Clubb has been appointed assistant coach as preparations step up for the start of the 2022 Betfred Championship season.

Clubb, 34, recently retired after 16 seasons as a top-flight Super League player, the last eight at Wigan Warriors saw him win three major honours, a Super League grand final, League Leaders’ Shield and World Club Challenge.

Clubb said he was thrilled to take on his first major coaching appointment and work again with recently appointed Centurions’ head coach Adrian Lam, his coach at Wigan for the past three seasons.

“Once Lammy phoned me I was really excited about the opportunity and couldn’t wait to get started,” Clubb said. “I genuinely believe Leigh Centurions are a Super League club and with their fan base and facilities that’s where they belong.

“Working under Lamy will be fantastic. He’s a good coach and a good man. Once he’s coaching, he’s full-on and he will get the best out of the players here.

“We know that big things are expected of us this year and we are looking forward to the challenge.

“I was quite nervous coming in for my first day but within five or ten minutes those nerves just went away. Everyone has been so welcoming, and it was great to get started.

“Coaching is the next best thing to playing and I gained valuable experience helping out with Wigan under-19s. Having watched the team train today, I’m genuinely excited about the season.”

Leigh Centurions head of rugby Chris Chester said: “Tony was an imposing figure in the Wigan dressing room and helped drive standards and values, and he will bring those qualities into his coaching career.

“He was highly rated for his work with the Under-19s and he’s such a really good, humble guy who knows how to get the best things out of players.

“He was excited about the role at Leigh when we met him and basically said, ‘When can I start?’ Already, he’s rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in. He’s been in a very good system at Wigan and worked under some good coaches.

“He will make a big impact on our training, and he knows what Adrian Lam expects and how he wants to play.”

Kent-born, Clubb came up through the London Broncos Academy system making his club debut for Harlequins (as the club was then known) in a Super League game at Bradford Bulls in 2006.

During his time in the capital he played over 150 games and won England international honours before moving north in 2014, making a permanent transition from the backs to the forwards, ending his career as one of the most consistent-performing middles in the game.

Important roles in Wigan’s 2017 World Club Challenge victory over Cronulla and the 2018 Grand Final win over Warrington Wolves were two career highlights. In 2020 Clubb added a League Leaders’ medal to his collection, a year in which Lam was voted Betfred Super League Coach of the Year.

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