Leigh Leopards hand out contract extensions to key members of Super League squad

LEIGH LEOPARDS have confirmed that Gareth O’Brien has signed a one-year contract extension, whilst Matt Davies has signed a two-year deal.

O’Brien, 32, joined the Leopards from Castleford Tigers and in his first season played a big part in the club winning the Challenge Cup and reaching the Super League play-offs for the first time.

The fullback or halfback is nearing a return to first team action after missing the last five games through injury.

Gareth O’Brien said: “I’m really happy to be staying another year and now that it’s all sorted, I’m really focused on getting back fit and hopefully helping to contribute to winning some games.”

Leopards Head of Rugby Chris Chester said: “It’s brilliant to have tied Gaz down for another year, he’s integral to how we play.

“It’s going to be huge for us to get him off the injury list and back into a playing spot.”

Warrington born, O’Brien came through the academy ranks with his hometown club, making his senior debut for the Wolves in 2011. He subsequently played for Salford Red Devils (2016-18), Toronto Wolfpack (2018-20) and Castleford (2020-22) before joining the Leopards.

O’Brien is approaching two major career milestones, those of 300 senior games and 1500 points, having played 290 games and scored 1,443 points in his 14-year career so far.

His points tally is made up of 544 goals, 19 drop-goals and 84 tries.

Davis, 27, was a key member of the Leopards’ Challenge Cup-winning side in 2023 and has been ever present so far this season.

Davis said: “I’m buzzing to have signed the two-year extension with the club. It was always my goal to extend, especially with the year we had last season.

“With the quality of the staff and players we have at our disposal, it’s such a close-knit group. So I wanted to keep playing with these lads and for the club.

“Obviously last season we achieved winning the Challenge Cup which was unreal. It was a massive highlight in my career so far to do so with this group of lads.

“To see how the town and the fans reacted was next level so if we could replicate anything like that again whilst I’m at the club that would be massive.

“Playing in front of these fans is an absolute honour. The noise home and away is incredible and I really look forward to making a lot more memories with them.”

Leopards Head of Rugby Chris Chester said: “The consistency Matty Davis has shown during his time at the club has been brilliant. You always know he’s going to get on the field and do a fantastic job.

“This extension means we’ve got Matty tied down for the peak of his playing years which is a great achievement for both Matty and the club.”

Leicestershire-born Davis was spotted by London Broncos playing for Leicester Storm in the Southern Conference. He came through the Broncos’ academy ranks, making his first team debut as a teenager in 2015.

As a key member of the Broncos’ side which won promotion to Super League in 2018, he attracted the attention of Warrington and enjoyed a four-year stay with the Wolves before moving to the Leopards Den.

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