Leigh Centurions seal signing from NRL

Championship side Leigh Centurions have announced the signing of fullback Caleb Aekins, who joins from Canberra Raiders.

The 23-year-old played seven games for Canberra in the 2021 season before being released at the end of the campaign.

He first made his NRL debut for Penrith Panthers in 2018 and, although born in New Zealand, is of Welsh descent and is part of the Wales train-on squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Caleb’s signing is very important to us and means that we have the spine of the team sorted out,” said Leigh director of rugby Chris Chester, who revealed that Josh Hodgson had recommended their new signing having played alongside Aekins for the Raiders.

“He’s a player I’ve monitored for a couple of seasons and when I contacted Josh, who’s a good friend of mine, he spoke very highly of Caleb.

“Caleb is young, fit and can’t wait to get over here and play for Leigh Centurions. He plays in a pivotal position and it’s a huge signing for our club.

“He will set the Betfred Championship alight in 2022.”

Aekins added: “I am looking forward to coming to the United Kingdom. My manager and I had a long chat and he said that the experience of playing in the English game would do me good.”

Leigh are yet to make an appointment as their new head coach but Aekins is their 11th new signing for 2022, following their relegation from Super League last term.