LOWTON lad Alex Gerrard has swapped pre-season training in the NRL for another crack at the Betfred Championship with Leigh.

The former Widnes Vikings prop will make his debut in Centurions final competitive workout before next Friday’s season’s league opener at Dewsbury.

John Duffy’s side welcome 2018 Super League champions, Wigan Warriors, to Leigh Sports Village on Thursday night, kick-off 7.30pm.

Gerrard and Cameron Smith, another recent recruit, are in Duffy’s squad though a third new signing, Lewis Bienek, is unavailable with a dead leg.

“Alex is in good shape because he has just done seven or eight weeks training with Gold Coast Titans,” said Duffy.

“He is only down the road and I think his granddad is a massive Leigh fan.

“So, Alex can’t wait to pull on the jersey.

“You are always looking for players. But we are happy because we have 27 players and got a good squad.

“Alex actually trained with us last pre-season and got some fitness before heading for Australia.

“He’s a steady head, a strong lad and has got some skill too. I think he’ll give us a lot of composure in the middle.”

Smith and front row Bienek have arrived on a season long loan from Hull FC.

“Cameron is a big athletic centre who can play wing as well,” added Duffy. “He’s very excited about coming on board and getting some game time.”

Scott joined Hull FC in 2018 and made his debut against Hull Kingston Rovers, going on to make a further six appearances before loan spells with Doncaster and Dewsbury.

On Bienek, Duffy added: “Lewis appeared on the scene after coming through the Academy pathway at London Broncos while Andrew Henderson was there coaching.

“He enjoyed a brilliant couple of seasons before London made Super League and Hull FC took a chance on him last year.

“He’s a big boy, a really athletic front runnerwho takes some putting down when he is on his game.”

Winger Liam Forsyth will be touch and go to start at Dewsbury. He missed the Wigan friendly with a hamstring injury picked up at Salford.

“These new players have never really experienced the North Stand when it is rocking,” added Duffy. “So, I hope the fans can pack I out against Wigan so they know what to expect when the season gets underway.”