LEIGH Centurions look to return to winning ways against Swinton Lions-one of Duffy’s former clubs- at Heywood Road on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.

The Lions are only kept off bottom of the table due to Widnes’s 12-points deduction for falling into administration.

Stuart Littler’s Lions have suffered five successive defeats; the latest an agonising 18-16 loss against Halifax last Sunday.

Scottish international Liam Hood is the first of three new players set to boost Leigh Centurions’ Betfred Championship squad in the coming weeks.

Hooker Hood spent only four months with division rivals Widnes Vikings before quitting this week to take up a full-time job outside the game.

But he was keen to stay in the sport and is delighted a reunion with Centurions and head coach John Duffy has been made possible.

“I never wanted to leave Leigh in the first place,” said Hood who made his final appearance for Vikings in last Sunday’s emotional win over Featherstone.

“But situations happened at the end of last year so I’m absolutely buzzing to be coming back.

“I had three fantastic years at the club and I can’t wait to run out again in front of the North Stand.

“Duffs is a real good friend and a great coach and it’ll be great to play under him again. Hopefully we can crack on with this year and get into the play-offs.

“I’ve taken a really good job outside the game so I’m looking forward to different challenges in my life. I’ll be playing rugby part-time and training at nights so it will be a new approach.

“I love the people and the fans at Leigh and I’m really grateful to Derek Beaumont and Duffs for giving me the opportunity to be a Leyther again.”

Hood, 27, scored 26 tries in 65 games for the Centurions between 2016 and 2018.

The move to bolster Duffy’s squad comes after back-to-back defeats against Toronto and York. But Leigh’s three losses have been by a combined aggregate of just 16 points.

Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: “John and the team have created a bit of desire in me with their efforts so far. Given the fans are turning out in force it means our income will be above that projected.

“Rather than realise that at the end of the year I have agreed to underpin an addition to the budget for John to strengthen with immediately which is a clear indication that the more support we get the stronger we will be.

Duffy said: “Liam’s played his heart out for Leigh in the past and was highly popular with the supporters who will be delighted to see him return.”