AUSSIE ace Daniel Mortimer has delivered a stirring pre Christmas message to Leigh fans.

In a week when Championship rivals Toronto Wolfpack boosted their squad by signing three more ex-Centurions, Mortimer re-affirmed his strong bond with the club.

The former Eels, Roosters, Titans and Sharks playmaker, who will start as Leigh’s first choice hooker for their 2018 campaign, was among the stars at Monday night’s sold out fans forum at Leigh Sports Village.

“I am really confident the team can go back up (to Super League),” newly married Mortimer, 28, told supporters.

“That’s the goal and anything less is failure to me.

“Going through the final month of last season was pretty disappointing especially having to watch from the side lines.

“But that gave me the hunger to comeback because there is unfinished business.

“It’s a new squad and it will be good for them to see the mighty North Stand.

“We have nothing like that in Australia.

“It takes about 40,000 people to make the noise you get here.

“It’s special.”

Head coach Neil Jukes said of Mortimer’s place in the pack: “We knew ‘Morts’ could play a bit of both and at the back end of last season he played some games through nines.

“He is a great competitor and he has had an unbelievable pre season.

“He has embraced the challenge and has got some unfinished business.

“The numbers are just an early indication of where the squad is at.

“It’s not a guarantee the first 17 will start our opening game against Toronto.

“In 2016, it took us 1-27 players to get us to Super League not 17. Some players embrace the squad numbers; others don’t take too much notice and continue to work hard.

“So, it isn’t a defining right to start in the first 17.”

Leigh’s squad numbers are: 1 Craig Hall; 2 Matty Dawson; 3 Ben Crooks; 4 Peter Mata’utia; 5 Rhys Evans; 6 Ben Reynolds; 7 Drew Hutchison; 8 Paterika Vaivai, 9 Daniel Mortimer, 10 Jamie Acton, 11 Kevin Larroyer, 12 Bodene Thompson, 13 Harrison Hansen, 14 Liam Hood, 15 Jordan Thompson, 16 Larne Patrick, 17 Kyle Lovett, 18 Nathan Mason, 19 Jack Owens, 20 Greg Richards, 21 Nick Gregson, 22 Ricky Bailey, 23 Jonah Cunningham, 24 Jack Blagbrough, 25 Ilias Bergal and 26 Jordan Dezaria.

“We have a new look squad and the young kids have been at a front of a lot of stuff we have been doing,” added Jukes.

“They are putting pressure on the mid 20 type guys who have also embraced the challenge.

“There is a really good feel around the place.

“We have drawn a line in the sand and moved on.”

Leigh have already played a behind closed doors scrimmage with Warrington and are set to face Hull FC before Christmas.

Missing from Leigh squad numbers for next season are Cory Patterson, Sam Hopkins and Adam Higson.

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They have been confirmed as ex-Centurions coach Paul Rowley’s latest recruits.

The Leigh old boys were unveiled at a Wolfpack press conference at their new Manchester training base earlier this week.