HALF back Ben Reynolds has re-joined Leigh Centurions after the Betfred Super League club agreed a transfer fee with Championship outfit, Toulouse Olympique.

The Pontefract born playmaker asked to be released from his contract after personal reasons necessitated his return to the UK.

Reynolds, 27, who previously played 84 times for Leigh in two previous spells scoring 30 tries and booting 239 goals, admitted: “It’s been a weird 48 hours. Crazy.

“I went to Toulouse last year thinking it was a great opportunity for me and my family. But the way things are in the world right now made it important I came home.

“The Toulouse club has been absolutely fantastic in the way they understood my situation and agreed to release me.

“I really enjoyed my time with their club and am very grateful for the way they have looked after me and accepted me into their group.

“After what seems like a whirlwind, I’m really excited to be back at Leigh and am looking forward to ripping in with the new boys. “Every time I come back to Leigh it feels like home and this time I want to stay for a long time.”

Reynolds signed a two-year deal with the French club last August. But Centurions owner Derek Beaumont explained the catalyst for the player’s shock return was a telephone call received by the club’s head of rugby, Garreth Carvell from the player’s agent.

“Ben’s agent explained that he was coming home and needed to get a club and he asked us first as he was our player before going to France,” said Mr Beaumont.

“We were not specifically looking for a player in that area but Ben’s been here before and is a good player. I’ve always had a good personal relationship with him.

“As a member of the Leigh family, I thought it was incumbent on us to try and help him out and ensure he was looked after. Ben will certainly strengthen us in the halfback areas.

“We have a good relationship with the Toulouse club and were able to agree a transfer fee quickly that suited all parties and enabled them to show some compassion towards Ben’s request despite not wanting to lose a quality player.

“I think Toulouse are a quality club and will be extremely strong in the Championship with a very good chance of promotion to the Betfred Super League. I wish them every success.”

Leigh head coach John Duffy said: “The opportunity to re-sign Ben popped up out of the blue due to personal reasons.

“The club, after negotiating a transfer fee with Toulouse, was kind enough to offer him an opportunity in a full-time environment he knows well, and in the Betfred Super League.

“Ben has always played his heart out for Leigh and was really ripping in last season before the campaign was brought to a premature close, when he was one of our stand-out players.

“I’ve always had a good personal relationship with Ben and I kept in touch while he was in France.

“I know he loved his time over there, and was training really hard, looking forward to a good season.

“He’s come back looking fit and trim and he’s a great addition to our squad. He will do well for us when he gets his opportunity.

“He comes at a good time with Jamie Ellis side-lined with injury while Joe Mellor put his hand up and played with an injury last week which was a phenomenal effort from him.

“We obviously can’t be doing that too often as Joe’s welfare comes first and so Ben’s arrival comes at a good time for us.”

Reynolds came up through the ranks at Castleford Tigers but made his first real mark on the professional game with an outstanding season on loan at York City Knights in 2014 when he was voted joint Championship One young player of the year.

After impressing in a reserve match for York against Centurions-played at Leigh East- he first came to Leigh in 2015, helping the club to promotion a year later.

He then became a regular during the Super League season of 2017. He joined Wakefield Trinity in 2019 but re-joined the Centurions towards the end of that season before taking up the opportunity to play in France.

Reynolds, who holds heritage number 1398, has amassed 821pts in his career including 41 tries, 328 goals and one drop-goal.