LEIGH Centurions have signed Jayden Hatton and Tom Nisbet to further strengthen the playing squad ahead of the 2022 Betfred Championship campaign.

Hatton joins the Club on a permanent contract from Widnes Vikings while Nisbet follows Saints team-mate Aaron Smith in signing a one-year loan arrangement with three-time Betfred Super League champions St Helens.

Both players are aged 22 and came up through their respective clubs’ scholarship and academy programmes. Nisbet earned Centurions Heritage Number HN#1520 when he made his club debut on the wing at Catalans in August while on a one-week loan.

Leigh Centurions Head of Rugby Chris Chester said: “We are building a squad with a really good blend of good young players like Tom and Jayden who will greatly benefit working alongside the likes of Joe Wardle and Joel Tomkins and seeing what is expected of a top-class professional.

“Tom was briefly at our club before, and I’ve heard good things about him. He’s come up through a top-class system at Saints and I’d like to again thank their CEO Mike Rush and head coach Kristian Woolf for their help and co-operation in making this move possible.

“Jayden also shows what we are trying to do with our recruitment. We are not just planning for next year but the years after that when we aim to be in the Super League. That both players see Leigh Centurions as the best club to further their careers is another positive indicator in what we are trying to do.

“Jayden wanted to back himself and play in a full-time environment and I see that as a very positive sign. He’s got confidence in himself and I’m looking forward to seeing him blossom in a Leigh Centurions jersey.”

Tom Nisbet said: “I’m really looking forward to playing for Leigh Centurions and I’m excited at the prospect of getting game-time and proving what I can do. I’ve gained a lot from my time at Saints and training every day with the best wingers in Super League in Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace.

“You gain something every time you train with those two and them and the likes of James Roby and the coaching staff and all the senior players are always there to talk and help you along. It’s a really enjoyable environment but it can be frustrating when you’re not playing games at the end of the week. All you can do is train the best and hardest you can and benefit from being in the St Helens system.”

Nisbet made his Saints Super League debut against Salford in 2020 and has represented Lancashire and England at academy level.

Jayden Hatton said: “I have got to an age where I wanted to kick on with my career and pursue a full-time environment. Leigh’s a really great club and I’m really happy to be signing.

“The aspirations of the club are the main reasons why I’m here. The project is to get back in Super League straight away and that’s where I want to be, too. Hopefully I can help them get there.

“Playing at Widnes is all I’ve known, coming through the scholarship and academy into the first team. It was a very proud moment when I made my debut for my home-town club in 2019. But unfortunately Widnes couldn’t offer me the full-time contract I wanted and now I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and ripping in."

Hatton capped his maiden season as a Vikings first-teamer by playing on the wing in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final at Wembley against Sheffield Eagles. “Though we lost that day it was a great experience and a reward for the Widnes fans in helping save the club,” he said.