LEIGH Centurions headed back into training this week with their ranks swelled.
They have been boosted with the capture of Adam Higson from Swinton Lions, while long serving Jimmy Taylor has committed himself for another year which takes him to the brink of a Testimonial with the club.
Higson left Leigh for Swinton at the end of the 2011 season and enjoyed a profitable season before injury struck towards the end of June.
Despite that, the 25-year-old was able to claim 10 tries in 15 games, his best try return since turning professional with Leigh in 2008.
The former Leigh Miners Rangers player made 60 appearances in his first spell with the club, including 39 starts and notched 13 tries.
"Adam has signed a two-year contract," head coach Paul Rowley revealed.
"He's having rehabilitation now following a knee operation. He has come back for an opportunity and feels he has some unfinished business.
“I don't think he was particularly happy during the last year of his previous spell here. That spoiled it somewhat for him, but Adam is a realist, nobody gets any promises here, it doesn't matter where you come in from.
“He will be given a fair opportunity to earn a place. I know Adam very well, he has some fantastic attributes and was having a great season last year before injury.
"We need to first of all get him fit and ready which should look towards him playing around April time."
Taylor first made his debut during the club's spell in Super League and is currently the longest serving player on the books. The 28-year-old made 16 appearances, scoring five tries, last season and has now appeared 174 times for the club.
“Jimmy had approaches from other clubs,” said Rowley.
“Swinton were into him and they do like to have a look at our players now and again.
“There was no doubt in my mind that Jimmy's first port of call would always be his hometown club.
“Jimmy is one of those players you want, you go to a tough place and you want people like him, he's tough and reliable and if you look at the squad overall there is no-one you'd have any doubts about putting in the side and Jimmy is a strong candidate for a spot in our team. There is certainly a lot of competition.”
Rowley likened the start of pre-season to the start of a new school year.
“It’s good to be back in routine,” he said.
“There will be no major shake ups. I just believe that we are not far off in what we do. We want to improve and enhance what we already do and try and get better as coaches, as players and on and off the field.
“This year is a new challenge for the players and for us as staff because we are going to have to make a number of tough decisions and select the team accordingly to fit the opposition and maybe accordingly to give people a rest as there is no week off this year. There are a lot of different challenges.”