JOHN Asiata could boost Leigh’s search for a first home Betfred Super League win of the season on Friday night.

Leopards’ talismanic skipper has missed Leopards’ last seven league and cup games since suffering a torn calf in defeat at St Helens on March 1.

But head coach Adrian Lam hinted at a welcome comeback for the clash with Catalans Dragons who began round nine as competition leaders.

Even if the game comes too soon then Asiata will be available for the visit of Castleford Tigers on May 4 as could hooker Edwin Ipape.

“John has a small chance,” confirmed Lam ahead of three successive outings at Leigh Sports Village.

“We will give him up to captain’s run. He is on field training and going pretty well so we are excited about that.

“It will be massive (to have him back). He is the captain and a leader within the group.

“More importantly, a lot of our attack runs through him and the style that I play. We have missed him but we won’t tell him too much in case he gets a big head,” laughed Lam.

“But his presence around the group at training lifts the intensity and his leadership takes us to another level.

“The time they have been out seems like forever but it has come round pretty quickly now.”


Leigh lost three times to Catalans last season, including a bruising 30-14 defeat last August, a week after the Challenge Cup victory.

“They are one of two teams we didn’t beat last year,” added Lam. “So, one of the goals this season is to beat Catalans.

“It is a good stage for us because I feel we have stepped up in the big games and been in them until the last 15 minutes. That is a good sign and if we can step up another level from the Warrington game I am sure we will do alright.”

Leigh led 14-6 with 17 minutes remaining but conceded tries to Matt Dufty and Matty Nicholson as Wire fought back to win 16-14.

Utility back Ed Chamberlain has joined Hull FC on a month’s loan.

*Full-back Hattie Dogus bagged three of her side’s 10 tries as Leigh Leopards overcame Dewsbury Moor 48-4 in the Women’s Northern Championship at Twist Lane.

Leopards, who travel to Castleford Tigers on Sunday, have won all four of their opening league matches.

Toryn Blackwood (2), Mollie Young, Freya Turner, Kate Howard, Eleanor Dainty and Claire Collins also touched down with Charlotte Melvin adding four goals.

*Leopards’ reserves are finding the going harder and suffered a 66-16 defeat to Warrington who ran in 13 tries. Matt Horrocks, Michael Ogunwole and Jack Darbyshire crossed for Stuart Littler’s team with Lewis Fairhurst landing two goals.