MICKY Higham’s final appearance in a Leigh shirt against Wigan on Sunday, 3pm, will coincide with Drew Hutchison’s debut for Centurions.

And the former St George Illawarra Dragon couldn’t be any more excited at the prospect.

The former Junior Kangaroo, once tipped as Benji Marshall’s successor at the Dragons, suffered a cruciate knee injury at the end of 2016, and had only one brief outing in 2017.

His previous match had been the NSW Super Premiership Grand Final in September 2016. A drop goal gave Illawarra Cutters victory over Mount Pritchard Mounties with the point also the last one scored at the old Parramatta Stadium.

“It is going to be interesting to see where we are as a team,” says Hutchison of Wigan’s annual pre season visit to Leigh Sports Village.

“And it is exciting for me because I haven’t played a full game for more than a year. I played off the bench in the final game of last year. But it wasn’t a real test. I was just ticking off that I was returning to play.

“I had never really missed many games of footie before the injury so it was a shock. You try not to think about injuries like that and it hasn’t really crossed my mind. Besides, we have had a tough pre-season and it has held up really well.”

Hutchison will be part of a new-look Leigh squad looking to continue their good form in this traditional fixture.

“We are still learning but we will get better as the season goes on,” says the Aussie playmaker.

“As a team, it is just about getting a game under your belt and putting what you practice into game time.”

Higham is expected to play a quarter of the contest in the 507th and final game of his career. And Hutchison is anticipating a special afternoon to celebrate the local hero.

“I hear it is a pretty big derby so it means a lot to a lot of people,” he says.

“I’ve been told heaps about the rivalry so I am excited to sample it.

“It’s hard to ignore someone who has played 500 games and I definitely knew about Micky before I joined Leigh. His record speaks for itself and he is a good bloke too so I hope it’s a day he will always remember.

“Hopefully, Wigan will bring a strong squad because you always want to be playing against the best players. I’m sure they will want to get some match condition in readiness for their game in Australia.”

* Leigh have apologised to fans after the club’s Championship away game against Toulouse on June 16 has been switched to Albi. A Leigh spokesman said: “We were concerned about the travel arrangements for our supporters, particularly those who have already booked flights and accommodation in Toulouse. But in accordance with RFL rules, we had no valid reason to object.”