LEIGH Leopards fans will hope new boy Aaron Pene can take Super League by storm in the same fashion as his NRL bound Leopards team mate, Tom Amone.

The duo were once members of a Parramatta Eels Under 20’s team that included Wigan Warriors stars, Bevan French and Abbas Miski.

Amone has been a revelation since joining in Leigh in 2022 and has secured a return to the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs for 2025.

Now his fellow front rower and former winger has touched down in the UK, having largely gone under the radar, like Amone previously, despite NRL experience with Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors.

“Tom has done well since coming over here,” agrees Pene who made his Leopards debut off the bench in last Friday’s night’s emotional game in memory of Rob Burrow at Leeds Rhinos.

“He has found his feet, reaping the rewards now and enjoying the fruits of his hard work.

“I can only do the best I can and whatever comes of it, comes of it. I am Leopard number 1564 and to wear the jersey and to represent their heritage means a lot to me.

“I can only respect that jumper by doing my best,” adds 28-year-old Pene, contracted with Leigh for the next two and a half years and determined to “run hard and tackle hard.”

Supporters at Headingley saw flashes of those attributes in the 18-10 defeat which leaves Adrian Lam’s side seven points off the top six and a game in hand against leaders and champions Wigan.

“I knew if I played to my strengths and to the best of my ability then I should be okay,” he said of his debut.

“My first carry wasn’t a bad one so I took some confidence from that.

“I am keen to do whatever I can to help us reach the play-offs and I am pretty confident we can make it.”

A longer-term ambition is to earn representative honours.

Born in Australia he holds Samoan heritage through there is another nationality in the possible international mix!

“My dad is Samoan and down his line there is German heritage somewhere too,” he revealed.

“I am not too sure how far back.

“It is right but there could be a bit of jest in it as well,” he laughed.

“I would love to represent my culture but at the moment it is about me finding my feet at Leigh and playing well consistently.

“If I am playing well enough and the selectors want me to play. I will be more than happy to put my hand up.”

Leigh return to action after this weekend’s international break with a trip to Wigan on July 5, opponents they haven’t managed to beat since returning to the top flight.

However, hopes of ending that sequence have been boosted by Lachlan Lam’s availability. Charged with a grade B dangerous contact against Leeds, the Papua New Guinean playmaker received a £250 fine but no ban.