BEN Reynolds will be fit and raring to go for the start of Leigh’s assault on the Betfred Championship next year.

That’s the belief of the Centurions’ playmaker making positive strides on the road to recovery after suffering an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury last June.

With the recent removal of a knee brace and allowed to start light running in straight lines, Reynolds is optimistic he will be available for the kick-off to a new campaign.

“Everything is looking good,” said Reynolds, one of only a handful of players from last season’s ill-fated Super League season to sign new contracts.

“Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I will be allowed to introduce a change of direction in my running.

“The aim is to start pre-season slowly and then build up and be back in full training as soon as possible.

“I think we have a friendly pencilled in for mid-January so I should be flying by then.

“It has been hard because I have not had major injury like this before,” added the 27-year-old half back.

“I have only played about 20 matches in the last two and a half years. I usually play that many in a season.

“But I am lucky I have family to support me plus the support of the club made it a lot easier. Leigh is like a second home to me now.

“I just feel comfortable and enjoy playing rugby here so it was easy to agree another contract.”

The publication of the 2022 Championship fixtures is imminent and Centurions will be among the favourites for promotion despite a massive squad re-building and the lengthy search for a new head coach.

“We might be under estimated because some teams have been together for a longer time,” he explained. “But that will suit us.

“Hopefully, we can come together quickly and gel and show the Championship what we have got.

“I am looking forward to a tough year but a successful one.”

Leigh Journal:

*Scotland international Matty Russell has joined Super League newcomers Toulouse Olympique.

Russell, 28, who had been linked with a move to Salford, sent a heartfelt message to Centurions fans after confirming the move.

He wrote: “The fans where (sic) outstanding all year despite things not going our way.

“They’ve got great things going on at the club from top to bottom. I’m sure we will see them back in super league in the near future best of luck next year.”

*Ex Leigh boss Paul Rowley is the new coach of Salford Red Devils. Kurt Haggerty, Centurions’ interim coach at the end of last season, has been appointed as an assistant.

*Former Centurions vice-captain Tyrone McCarthy, who announced his playing retirement in September, has agreed to become a ‘coaching consultant’ with National Conference League, Woolston Rovers.

*Reported Leigh target, full-back Adam Quinlan, is set to return to Australia after his end of season release at Hull KR.