LEIGH Leopards have signed Aaron Pene on a two-and-half-year contract ending in November 2026.

Pene will arrive in the UK shortly and will be available to make his Leopards debut in the Betfred Super League Round 15 game at Leeds Rhinos on 21 June.

Leopards Head of Rugby Chris Chester said: “This is a brilliant signing for the club who I’ve been tracking for the last 12 months. It’s a signing fans should be really excited by.

“He’s an explosive and powerful player who brings NRL experience and he’s someone who can add a lot this season and beyond.”

Head Coach Adrian Lam said: “Aaron Pene is a real Adrian Lam style of Rugby League player. He’s someone we’ve been working to bring in for a while and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

The 28-year-old powerhouse prop made his NRL debut for Melbourne Storm in the 2020 season after impressing in the Queensland Cup competition. The Melbourne team had relocated to Queensland to help overcome the challenges of the pandemic.

He had one season with the New Zealand Warriors in 2022 before returning to Melbourne last year and has made 32 NRL appearances.

Born in Sydney of German and Samoan heritage, Pene played for Canterbury Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels as a junior. Most recently has been playing for Sunshine Coast in the Queensland Cup and has been granted a release by Melbourne Storm to pursue a career in the UK.