Paul Rowley says 101 positives in Leigh Centurions landing Ben Jeffries

Leigh Journal: Ben Jeffries during his time at Bradford Bulls Ben Jeffries during his time at Bradford Bulls

LEIGH Centurions have signed Australian half back Ben Jeffries.

The 33-year-old has agreed a two-year full-time contract with the club commencing on 1 December 2014.

Jeffries, a former Australian Schoolboy international, is a vastly experienced player and became the only Australian to complete ten consecutive years in Super League during spells with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Bradford Bulls.

Leigh Centurions head of rugby Derek Beaumont, said: " I am pleased we have managed to secure Ben's services ahead of some fierce competition from other clubs.

"Ben is an extremely experienced and capable player and it is important in every team to have that mix of experience with youth. We have a very low average age in our team and it is one that has been signed to stay together for a while.

"We have that experience in the forwards with Ollie (Wilkes), Penky (Sean Penkywicz) and Tommy (Goulden) and we now have that in the back line with Ben.

"It is important to have competition for places across the park and the pivots is an area we haven’t really had this season since Liam Kay established himself on the wing.

"Ben's knowledge of the game and his skill sets will also be invaluable in bringing on some of our capable backs in our reserve grade to a higher level. I am really pleased Paul (Rowley) was able to convince him that Leigh was the best place to re-establish himself in the English game and I am really looking forward to him dominating in our division.

"Ben is the first of a few signings that we will be making to add to what we have got for next season as we raise our game to achieve the next step in our well planned pathway to Super League."

After breaking into the NRL with St George-Illawarra and Wests Tigers, Jeffries enjoyed five seasons at Wakefield before linking up with the Bulls in 2008.

He re-joined the Wildcats in 2010 before moving back to Bradford midway through the 2011 season, returning to play in Australia at the end of the 2012 season.

He has scored 70 tries and kicked 20 goals and six drop-goals in 161 Super League games for Wakefield and scored 20 tries in 79 Super League appearances for Bradford.

He then announced his intentions to return to Australia to live and work in Newcastle, NSW and play for Kurri Kurri Bulldogs in the Newcastle Competition.

Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley said: "Ben is a very important acquisition for the Club going forward.

"This time last year with Liam Kay we had four bodies for three positions but since Liam has re-invented himself as a winger, it was important that we had cover and pressure the players holding down the three spots.

"We appreciate the players that we have got but we all learn from new ideas and Ben is highly respected at the clubs he has played for. Many other clubs were interested in him and Ben still has plenty of mileage left in him. He is a very fit and accomplished player and there are 101 positives with his signing."

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