Leigh Centurions have expressed their disappointment after their attempt to sign Australian winger Curtis Johnston was rejected by the RFL.
The North Sydney Bears youngster had signed a contract with the club for the 2015 season, but after an appeal was held at Red Hall by the club over an initial refusal to process his registration, the deal has now been thrown out.
Leigh’s director of rugby Derek Beaumont admits that although the club have to accept the RFL’s decision to reject Johnston’s signing – which was turned down after the club made a Discretionary Tier 2 GBE Application – the club will not be looking to sign a replacement, saying they will “run with what they currently have”.
“It is very disappointing not to be able to introduce Curtis to the English game,” Beaumont said.
“I was excited by the prospect of what he could have added to our club. I felt we put forward a well documented and balanced appeal which was acknowledged by the panel. However, they upheld the decision of the RFL at the same time as praising the attitude and performance of the club.
“We accept their decision and have a better understanding of the process. I would like to personally thank Andy Burnham MP for his assistance in this process. He was extremely supportive at short notice of the Club’s proposal which is testament to his commitment to the club and the town of Leigh.
“I can confirm we will not be pursuing an alternative replacement for Curtis and will run with what we currently have. I sincerely hope he gets to earn an opportunity in the NRL from his current club as he certainly looks a player that can add something to the highest level of the game.”