ANTHONY Gelling will make his Leigh debut in Friday’s “massive” derby at fellow Betfred Super League strugglers, Salford Red Devils (kick-off 6pm).

And head coach John Duffy is looking to the former Wigan, Widnes and Warrington centre for an immediate impact.

Both clubs have lost their opening three league games with Salford’s solitary win coming against Widnes in the Challenge Cup.

“’Gels’ is out of quarantine and available,” said Duffy of the 30-year-old Cook Island international. “So, he will give us more strike on our edge.

“He looks fit and has trimmed down a lot. He has been playing rugby union in New Zealand and is in very good shape.”

Gelling’s last game in league was Warrington’s 27-14 home defeat to Hull on November 12 last year.

This round four clash at the AJ Bell Stadium is already being talked up as a relegation battle-not a description Duffy subscribes to.

“If you look at both sides, we have played some very good teams at the start of the season,” he said.

“It is right it’s a massive game but I’m not sure about relegation. A win, however, is what we all want.

“We know we can perform so hopefully we can do that this week.” Leigh are one of four sides without a point and last Friday were crushed 52-16 at Castleford.

A day later Salford lost 42-6 against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan.

“Salford have a very big pack that we need to contain as well as two very good half backs in Kevin Brown and Tui Lolohea,” added Duffy who has played with and coached against Reds boss, Richard Marshall.

“Rich gets the team playing for him and knows the game inside out. He’s also very astute and worked under some very good coaches when he was assistant at Saints and Warrington.

“I actually played with Marshy for Leigh in Super League a long time ago. I just remember him getting me smashed with some hospital balls,” laughed Duffy.

Leigh’s top flight ambitions haven’t been helped by a succession of injuries. And they will be again without key personnel to face Salford.

Adam Sidlow (medial knee ligament) and Joe Mellor (hamstring tear) are definitely out while Nat Peteru is “touch and go” after taking a knee to the head against Tigers.

Centre Junior Sa’u is another week away from a first game of the season but Iain Thornley is available after overcoming a fitness bug that saw him miss his team’s defeat at Castleford.

“We are moving too many people around during games out of position and it’s not suited us so far,” agreed Duffy.

“So, we can’t go too hard on them because they are playing out of position for 60 minutes or so.

“There are areas in our game on defence we need to work on but everyone is having a good dig. There is no lack of effort.”