MATT Gardner and Michael Ostick are no longer Leigh Centurions players after being released from their contracts.

Gardner, 29, is an experienced three-quarter who scored 26 tries in 58 appearances for Centurions since his debut in 2012, while prop forward Ostick, 26, scored five tries in 54 appearances.

Neither player has appeared for Centurions since having their pre-seasons disrupted by injury.

Barrow-born Gardner made a 35 Super League appearances for three clubs (Castleford, 2004), Huddersfield (2006-07) and Harlequins (2009) and also played for Barrow (loan), Salford, Widnes and his native Cumbria, scoring 82 tries in 189 career appearances after starting out in the Leeds Rhinos Academy ranks.

Whiston-born Ostick came through the ranks at Widnes St Maries, making his Centurions debut in 2012 having previously played for Widnes, Barrow (loan), Rochdale Hornets and Halifax. He scored 12 tries in 125 appearances.

Both featured in the Centurions side that defeated Sheffield Eagles 43-28 in the 2013 Northern Rail Cup final at Halifax.

Head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: "Matt has been a fine servant to the club and always played a good strong game, giving a good account of himself.

“It is unfortunate he suffered the injury he did which has seen him unable to feature for the club this year.

"I believe in doing right by the player and on this occasion that is to allow Matt to look at new ventures and progress to a return to professional sport if that is an avenue he decides to go down.

“Whatever Matt does I am sure he will be successful because that is his nature.

"Sport can be very cruel and the situation with Michael is a clear example of that. At the end of last season Michael was showing fine form and was leading the way very strongly shoulder-to-shoulder with Tom Spencer.

“Unfortunately his injury has prevented him continuing that fine form and getting into contention to regain a first team place.

"Michael is a really honest guy and it is only right we deal with him respecting that honesty and allow him to look early at his short-term future.

“Our reserves are again facing the academies and it isn't really the stage that will see Michael return to the form of which he is capable.

"I have no doubt he will prove himself again in the Championship, such the challenging person he is, and he is one we will certainly keep our eye on.”

Head coach Paul Rowley added: "Both players have been here throughout my time as head coach and I am really grateful for their contributions over the past two-and-a-half years.

“Unfortunately injuries have contributed to both players having disjointed seasons so far, but both have remained positive and integral to the team dynamic.

"It was important to let them know early of our decision so they can sort out their futures. They are two good players who are now heading in different directions.

“They have both been very supportive of me and my staff and I will maintain contact with both of them and know they will both remain good friends of mine."