Leigh Centurions secure international forward from Brisbane Broncos

Championship side Leigh Centurions have confirmed the signing of international forward John Asiata.

Asiata brings a wealth of experience in the NRL having played for North Queensland Cowboys for seven seasons, making more than a century of appearances including in their 2015 Grand Final-wining team, before switching to Brisbane Broncos last term.

The 28-year-old, who was born in Penrith but has featured for both Samoa and Tonga on the international stage, also featured in the Cowboys’ 2016 World Club Challenge win over Leeds Rhinos.

Asiata was signed for Canterbury Bulldogs for 2022 but was released earlier this month following his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and Leigh have moved quickly to secure him for Adrian Lam’s squad in 2022.

“It is not often that such a quality player becomes available on the market,” said Centurions director of rugby Chris Chester of the signing.

“Adrian and I found out about John’s availability and acted quickly. There were lots of clubs in the Super League and Championship chasing his signature and so to persuade John that his future lay at Leigh Centurions was a real team effort.

“John is a really good fit for the club, one of the final pieces in the jigsaw. He is primarily a lock but can play halfback or on the edge.

“He’s got versatility and he’s a good ball player so he will be an excellent link between the forwards and both edges.”