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Leigh Centurions reveal signing of cage-fighting forward for 2014 season
DESPITE the disappointment of another play-off defeat, plans at Leigh Centurions continue to gather pace for the 2014 season.
Having already announced the signing of forwards Sam Barlow and Oliver Wilkes, Centurions boss Paul Rowley has further bolstered the size of his pack by recruiting Workington Town forward Jamie Acton for next season.
“Jamie is another player to have impressed against us this year and at 21 has a lot of potential and development ahead of him,” said Rowley.
“A season at Championship level has certainly brought him on and I am looking forward to welcoming him to the squad, further boosting our pack following the recruitment of Sam Barlow and Oliver Wilkes.”
Acton, who is also a professional cage fighter, is a prop or second row originally from London, who came to Wigan as a teenager from Hemel Hempstead.
He joined Wigan in 2010 having only taken up rugby league as a 16-year-old.
While learning his trade at Hemel, Acton was rewarded with international call-ups for England and the under-18s Community Lions.
He had a playing spell on dual contract with South Wales Scorpions and joined Oldham midway through the 2012 season, adding great impetus to the way they finished the year.
Such was his form, particularly against Workington, that the Cumbrians snapped up his signature ahead of the 2013 season.
This year, Acton has been particularly impressive in an impact forward role from the bench, making 23 appearances for the Cumbrians and notching two tries.
And he could certainly add some vigour and steel to the Leigh pack, as a glance at his RFL Disciplinary record lists a sending off during his Oldham days.
Looking back on the 15-14 play-off defeat to Batley that now stretches the Centurions’ tally to just 10 games in post season since 2004, Rowley said: “The conditions weren’t great and weren’t conducive to attractive rugby.
“The fans were treated to a whole-hearted game but open rugby was a scarce commodity.
“We outscored them in terms of tries but the scoreboard tells a different story and that was due to us kicking ourselves in terms of penalties conceded for retaliation and falling for the old four-card trick.”
“Some penalties were gifts and we’ve got to be smarter than that.
“It was disappointing to go out in that manner when really we could have been comfortable defending for the next three hours.
“The commitment was there but the curse continues.”
Leigh have two nominations for the Kingstone Press Championship award night with Paul Rowley and Ryan Brierley nominated for the Coach of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards respectively.
“I’m delighted for Ryan and I think he should win it,” Rowley said, while Brierley backed the judgement of his coach.
“A lot of people don’t see what Paul has done for me,” said Brierley.
“He’s been fantastic. These nominations are for all the lads and the efforts they have put in over the course of the season.”