Leeds Rhinos snap up Leigh Centurions star as Rohan Smith tinkers with Super League squad

LEEDS Rhinos have signed 20-year-old outside back Luis Roberts from Leigh Centurions on a two-year contract.

Roberts, who was actually born in Leigh, made his debut in Super League with the Salford Red Devils in 2020 before joining Swinton Lions in 2021.

Despite Swinton’s relegation to the third tier, Roberts was named Championship Young Player of the Year with ten tries in 18 appearances.

That form prompted a move to his home town club this season however with limited opportunities, he has spent the season at Widnes Vikings on loan.

Roberts is also in the Welsh squad at this year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Commenting on the signing Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Rohan Smith said, “Luis was one of the first players I started tracking in the Championship when I arrived. Luis is a quality athlete, who is still growing. He has a great attitude towards improvement and is ready to take the next step in his career. The coaching staff and I are looking forward to him improving as a centre and a winger in his time at the Rhinos.”

Roberts says he believes the game time he has achieved playing in the Championship has transformed him as a player. He commented, “I am really looking forward to joining Leeds, this is a big moment for me. I have been in the Championship for the last two years, working hard, and this move will be another level for me especially as I am joining one of the biggest clubs in the game.

“My time in the Championship has built me as a player and a person. Leaving Salford was gutting at the time but it has turned me into a different player now. There are good players in the Championship and it has tested me to come up against them every week,” added Roberts.

Roberts is the fourth player to sign for Leeds for 2023 following the signings of Luke Hooley, Leon Ruan and James McDonnell and Roberts praised the faith that Rohan Smith has in him: “It is a massive boost for me knowing that I am being looked at by Rohan. I know he will help me be an even better player and hopefully I can take that into Super League.

“I like to think that I bring a lot of energy to the team and I am very passionate on the field; I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m looking forward to coming in for pre-season and working hard to be a better player. I know James McDonnell from Leigh and we have been talking to each other about being at Leeds, I am looking forward to working with him again,” added Roberts.

Meanwhile, Roberts is hoping he can make a good impression with his performances for Wales in the World Cup. He added, “It has been good to be in the Wales camp, John Kear has got the lads all together and we have bonded really well. The World Cup got off to a great start on Saturday with England’s win and personally this is a time for me to get in and show what I have got.”