Where Are They Now? The last Leigh team to play a Super League game

As Leigh Centurions warm up for the return of the Qualifiers this weekend when they face Hull KR, here’s a look at the last team to play a Super League game for the club – as we ask where some of them are now..

The team (lost 14-20 v Salford at Hilton Park, September 16, 2005)
John Wilshere; Steve Maden, Rob Jackson, Ben Cooper, Nick Owen; Carl Forber, John Duffy; Darren Fleary, Paul Rowley, Matt Sturm, Craig Stapleton, Mark Leafa, Jason Kent. Subs: Oliver Wilkes, Richard Marshall, Warren Stevens, Jay Duffy.

Steve Maden (wing)
The wing/centre left Leigh at the end of that ill-fated 2005 season for the Centurions, going on and signing a two-year deal with Whitehaven before returning to the Centurions at the start of the 2008 season. He remains at the club to this day, working as one of the assistant trainers under Leigh coach Neil Jukes.

Ben Cooper (centre)
Former Huddersfield centre Cooper remains in rugby league to this day – but in an off-field role. He scored five tries in 26 games for Leigh during the 2005 Super League season, and today? He works as a strength and conditioner at a Super League side, Castleford Tigers, as part of Daryl Powell’s backroom team.

John Duffy (half-back)
The versatile Duffy was Super League’s youngest debutant once upon a time when he played for Warrington at the age of just 16. Like several others, he left Leigh at the end of 2005, having spells at Whitehaven and Widnes before joining up with Leigh again. After retiring several years ago, Duffy headed into coaching: and he is currently head coach of Championship side Swinton Lions.

Craig Stapleton (prop)
The towering Australian left Leigh to return to Australia, having spells with Penrith and Cronulla before another tilt at English Rugby League with Salford in 2008 and 2009. After that, he returned home to Australia once again, before getting another chance at first grade NRL with South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2010.

Paul Rowley (hooker)
The Leigh-born hooker also spent time at Halifax and Huddersfield throughout his career, before becoming head coach of the Centurions and guiding them to remarkable success. He left that role at the start of this year, being replaced by Jukes, and will now head up the exploits of League 1 side Toronto next year.

Oliver Wilkes (forward)
The Cumbrian-born forward gave great service to Leigh in two different spells for the club, eventually leaving at the end of last season to take up a new challenge back home, where he still is now, playing with League 1 side Barrow Raiders in his native Cumbria.

Richard Marshall (forward)
The former Leigh forward left the Centurions for Swinton Lions, before moving into what is now regarded as a hugely promising coaching career. He spent time with the England Academy and at Warrington, but he now heads up Championship side Halifax, with whom he has done an impressive job to date.

Who would you like to see us profile in our next Where Are They Now? Let us know by tweeting us @LeagueExpress!