Leigh sign Salford’s Andrew Dixon

Leigh Centurions have confirmed the signing of back-row forward Andrew Dixon, 24, on a two-year full-time playing contract following his release from Salford Red Devils.

Dixon, who will have squad number 22 in 2015, originally signed professional forms for St Helens from the Blackbrook ARL club and made his first-team debut in February 2009. He went on to earn a regular first-team squad place during his four seasons at Saints, often playing off the bench.

He featured in the Saints sides defeated in both the 2010 and 2011 Super League Grand Finals, playing alongside new Centurions team-mate Jake Emmitt in the first of those two finals.

At the end of the 2012 season, having scored 13 tries in 67 games for Saints he joined Salford on a three-year contract. In his first season he made 28 appearances scoring four tries and in 2014 he scored four tries in nine games while also playing one game on loan with Barrow Raiders. He recently commenced a one-month loan deal with Halifax but has now been released from that arrangement.

Leigh Centurions Head Coach Paul Rowley said: “Andrew is a similar age to many players in the squad and fits in with my theme of developing this squad in a five-year block where these talented players can stay together.

“He is very well respected and has a wealth of experience. He works hard and is ambitious. I’m looking forward to working with him and to seeing him challenge for a place in our already talented squad.”

Leigh Centurions Head of Rugby Derek Beaumont said: “It has always been our intention to ensure the squad we have is able to achieve the goals we set. This means responding to players that become available and incidents in our own squad, including injuries, to which we have been subject recently.

“Paul and I looked at Andrew previously but unfortunately salary cap limitations and the need to leave a buffer meant we were unable to reach an agreement. However, in view of the Richard Beaumont situation the Club is in a different position and able to react accordingly.

“I am delighted to capture a new young player to our side who has experience of around one hundred Super League games in a position we are currently struggling with due to injuries. I’d like to thank (Salford Red Devils owner) Marwan Koukash for his assistance with the negotiations regarding this matter that allows Andrew to play for Leigh Centurions. It is always pleasing to see a fellow club owner act in the best interests of the player rather than the club.

“The Halifax club showed their understanding of the situation and in agreeing to terminate Andrew’s loan agreement again demonstrated a club acting in the best interests of the player.

“Finally, I would also like to thank (RFL Authorised Agent) Dave Peet, who represents Andrew and who worked hard to facilitate everything between the three clubs and the RFL. I am looking forward to welcoming Andrew to our team.”