Keiron Cunningham leaves Leigh

Keiron Cunningham, Leigh Centurions’ Head of Rugby, has left the club by mutual consent.

The former Saints head coach arrived at the club midway through last season and oversaw their recruitment drive for 2018, which saw a total of 19 players arrive at the club following their relegation to the Championship.

But their ambitious recruitment didn’t pay dividends, as a slow start to the campaign saw Leigh finish sixth in the league.

With Leigh now trying to cut costs to make the club sustainable with their lower distribution, Cunningham has parted with the club along Daniel Mortimer and Kyle Lovett.

“I would like to thank Kieron for his time at the club,” Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said.

“He has been very loyal to me and was devastated by the shortcomings of the squad. He has received a lot of criticism about the recruitment but that was done collectively with Neil Jukes and myself and the players have shown they were good enough at times, in particular against Wigan and Saints pre-season and then Salford in the Challenge Cup.

“He feels very much for me and the position this has left the club in and realises that it can’t survive unless the contracts it’s obligated to are removed. To that end he has terminated his contract with immediate effect having worked hard in the transfer week to find other clubs for some of the higher earners.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Daniel Mortimer and Kyle Lovett who have also accepted some responsibility and terminated their contracts in the best interests of the club going forward to return home with no short-term future.”

Mortimer, 29, moved to England towards the end of last season from Cronulla after a distinguished career in the NRL. He scored nine tries in 19 games, while Lovett scored four tries in ten games.