MATT Sarsfield has hailed Paul Rowley’s pre-season regime as “up there with the best” in rugby league.

The 23-year-old second-rower, who joined the Centurions in October last year, is back in a full-time environment for the first time since leaving Huddersfield Giants in 2012 and is relishing the Super League-style approach as Leigh step up their preparation for the Championship season, which kicks off in February.

“I think our preparation is up there with the best - comparable with Huddersfield,” said the Leigh-born former England Academy forward.

“The facilities that we’ve got are fantastic.

“There’s a good structure in place and the programme that we’ve been set is one of the best that I’ve done in terms of the variety of sessions that we are doing.

“ It’s a good balance.

“They work us hard but let us recover on the days we have off and that’s the key.

“As full time players we have more time to fit things in rather than rushing everything into a two or three hour session after work.”

Sarsfield, who signed a full-time contract with the Centurions in the summer, added: “All the lads are buying into it.

“We are all working hard.

“It’s at this time when you put the money in the bank for the season.”

Saturday’s thrill-a-minute clash between England Academy and Australia Schoolboys at Leigh Sports Village, which the tourists won 22-18 brought back special memories for Sarsfield, who played in the last series in 2010, which was also played at LSV and which the Academy won 2-0.

“I was playing for Wigan Academy then and got the phone call to come and train with the boys,” he recalled.

“We had a really strong team and nearly every player is now either playing Super League or Championship.

“We all just believed and wanted to beat them.

“We went out there and did the job in both games.

“We had a really good dig.”

In more that 40 years of Australian Schoolboy visits, the tourists – always regarded as a strong squad – have lost just a handful of games and Sarsfield was impressed with the Kangaroos last weekend, although he still believes the England lads can square the series when they meet again under the LSV floodlights tomorrow (Friday), kick off 7pm.

“I went to the game and England just lost,” he said.

“The Australians look like they have some good players but so do the English.

“England had their chances. There wasn’t much in the scores though and there is everything to play for.”

Admission prices on Friday are £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.