So, after months of speculation, drama and accusations, the Ryan Brierley transfer saga is finally over.
Leigh’s much-loved halfback finally departed to Super League on Sunday, with Huddersfield Giants winning the race for the 24-year-old by signing him to a four-and-a-half-year deal.
Undoubtedly, the whole drama has been a difficult one for the club to deal with; Brierley was not just one of Leigh’s best players, he was a fan favourite at the Centurions after scoring 133 tries in just 125 appearances while he was also an ambassador for the club off the field. He was an integral part of the club both on and off the field.
There will have been decisions made the club would perhaps change given another opportunity, but the decision to eventually sell their prize asset will not be one of them.
Undoubtedly, the departure of Brierley is a big blow to their Super League aspirations. Despite the likes of Chase, Hansen, Paterson and Smith all joining the club, the 24-year-old remained their star player destined for great things in the game.
However, it had become abundantly clear that the relationship between the two parties had become untenable. There comes a time where it is right to cut ties, and this was one of them.
With Brierley out of contract in the summer and almost certain to leave the club anyway, and with the relationship seemingly broken, the Centurions decided to take the hit and get a financial gain for their star.
The chances are Leigh didn’t get the fee they would have commanded last year, Leigh’s owner recently said he would reject a £100,000 offer, but it could have ended worse.
From Brierley’s perspective, he can now concentrate on what he does best, playing Rugby League. He found himself in an unfortunate position, one he didn’t deserve to be at the centre of, but now he can fulfil his dream of Super League.