Chester clinches two signings as Leigh target quick return

Chris Chester has made his first signings as head of rugby at Leigh by landing prop Chris Green from his old club Wakefield, experienced Scotland international Joe Wardle from Huddersfield and London Broncos backrower Jacob Jones.

And the relegated side say there will be plenty more to come as Chester targets an immediate return to Super League.

Ex-Hull man Green, 31, brings eleven seasons of top-flight experience, and Chester noted: “Chris is a great professional. Once I knew he was available, I made my move for him. He, like Joe Wardle, will be a great leader and inspiration to the squad and I am sure the fans will be impressed.”

Centre or backrower Wardle, 30, who was in his second spell at Huddersfield, has scored 76 tries in 217 career games and played in the 2013 World Cup.

He began at Bradford before his first Giants stint from 2011 to 2016, which featured a loan stint at Barrow.

Wardle had a season in the NRL with Newcastle Knights, then returned to England to play for Castleford for two seasons before his return to Huddersfield after a loan spell there.

“I needed a fresh challenge and after speaking to Chris and knowing what a passionate owner the club has in Derek Beaumont, it was all very appealing,” he said.

“The backing Leigh get from their fans is amazing and I am looking forward to playing here. We need to prove that we are the best in the Championship and get back into Super League.

Chester added: “I have known Joe a long time. He is a good person and a good trainer and will bring quality to the squad.

“He is a leader and will be a big asset both on the field and in the dressing room. He has plenty of experience both in Super League and the NRL and he has bought into our vision.”

Jones, 21, is among a string of players to leave London Broncos in the wake of the club’s decision to go part-time.

Birmingham-born, the former Loughborough Colleges graduate came through the capital club’s Academy and gained experience on loan to League 1 side Coventry Bears.

“I started out playing Rugby Union but watched Super League on television and the game really appealed to me,” said Jones.

“I had a trial at London Broncos and was signed by them before being loaned to Coventry for a season. That season was great for me personally and I went back to the Broncos and forced my way into the first team. I can’t thank Danny Ward and Jamie Langley enough for all the help they gave me with coaching and development. The set-up at Leigh is quality and I can’t wait to get out there and play in front of the fans.”

And Chester is confident that Jones will deliver the goods.

“Jacob is a young kid we did our homework on,” said Chester.

“(Former Broncos coach) Danny Ward spoke highly about him. He has bags of energy, great leg speed and a good engine.”

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