Peats signing a big plus for Leigh

LEIGH have landed former New South Wales hooker Nathan Peats ahead of their first Super League campaign since 2017.

The signing provides a major boost for the Centurions as they prepare for Friday’s big opener against Wigan.

The 30-year-old, who featured in the 2017 State of Origin series and has also played for the Indigenous All Stars and New South Wales City Origin representative sides, is due to jet into the UK next week.

Peats has played more than 160 NRL games for South Sydney, Parramatta and Gold Coast Titans, who released him at the end of last season.

“Nathan brings a wealth of experience,” said Leigh coach John Duffy (pictured).

“He’s looking forward to joining our club and getting stuck in.

“He will augment the competitive squad that we have put together and he will add his own qualities.”

Leigh are the bookies’ favourites to finish bottom, but Duffy says his players are relishing the challenge of proving people wrong.

“We’re under no illusions. We’ve had to work fast to bring players in since getting the nod to go up a few months ago, and it’s going to be tough,” he said.

“But we’re a close group and we know what we have to do. If we are consistent in our approach every week, we’ll upset a few teams.”

Duffy is waiting for the result of a scan on Jamie Ellis, the experienced halfback signed from Hull KR.

He picked up a knee injury during Friday’s pre-season clash with Warrington, and the coach admitted: “It doesn’t look too pretty.”

With Wigan’s Australian ace Bevan French, last season’s Super League Dream Team fullback, still to return to the UK from his closed-season break Down Under, Zak Hardaker will switch from the centres.

Coach Adrian Lam says he will make an assessment on halfback Jackson Hastings later this week, admitting: “Physically, he’s a little bit off where he needs to be.”