JONNY Pownall thanked Leigh great Des Drummond after scoring his first try in Centurions colours for more than two and a half years.

Pownall touched down as John Duffy’s side opened its Betfred Championship campaign with a 24-16 victory over Toulouse Olympique at Leigh Sports Village.

The 27-year-old winger had played for Toronto Wolfpack, Barrow Raiders and Bradford Bulls since scoring for the Leythers against Swinton in May 2016.

But he showed his finishing skills haven’t diminished against the French outfit while also creating another vital first half try for dual registration centre, Matty Costello.

The win followed a presentation 24 hours earlier when coach Duffy invited former Leigh stars to hand out first team shirts.

Drummond, now 60, did the honours for Pownall who enthused: “Des is a legend.

“It was a pleasure receiving my shirt from him. ‘Duffs’ invited the ex-players and we all enjoyed a breakfast together. It was a good occasion.”

The present and past gathering certainly had a positive effect as Centurions were deserved winners over Toulouse despite trailing early on.

“We have had a good win but let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” warned Pownall.

“You have got to enjoy wins like this because there are going to be times when it is tough.

“That’s when you stick together because that’s what gets you through. You also play better when you smile.

“It’s nice to get off the mark with a try but the hard work was done inside,” he added.

On Sunday, Leigh travel to Halifax who suffered an opening season 40-16 defeat at Widnes Vikings last Sunday.

Last term Richard Marshall’s side beat Centurions 38-18 at the Shay but lost 36-30 at Leigh Sports Village.

Victory over Toulouse included a first appearance in Leigh colours for veteran Australian forward, Luke Douglas, playing the first game of his month’s loan spell from St Helens.

“There are seven good front rowers over at Saints and we are all vying for four spots,” Douglas told the Journal.

“Justin (Holbrook) has got to make the hard call each week who he thinks can best do the job.

“If I have to come here and play a few games, I am happy to do it.

“Besides, you need that match fitness especially if you are a middle.

“And what a great place to come and get that match fitness.

“It’s enjoyable coming here and helping get Leigh back where they belong.

“It’s been tough trying to know all the calls in limited amount of training sessions but I’m getting the feel for that.

“It’s a learning curve for all parties, we are new to the dual registration

“However, I am really enjoying it out there and the fans were great.”