Sam Tomkins on Derek Beaumont’ Leigh Leopards rebrand and why he wanted to separate them from the Wigan Warriors

IT’S fair to say that one of the most talked about news item in rugby league since the end of last season has been that of Leigh’s rebrand.

From the ‘Centurions’ to the ‘Leopards’, Leigh have a new name, a new kit and a whole host of new players.

That has, in turn, left them one of the major talking points heading into the 2023 Super League season.

And, Catalans Dragons star and former Wigan Warriors fullback, Sam Tomkins, has explained why Leigh owner Derek Beaumont wanted the rebrand ahead of the IMG shake-up.

“It’s very rare that the newly-promoted team in Super League is the most talked about,” Tomkins said on Sky Sports last night.

“I spoke to Derek Beaumont yesterday about all things Leigh and it was really interesting why they went for the Leopards.

“They wanted a point of difference to separate themselves away from Wigan. It’s within a close proximity and Leigh have not been as successful as Wigan.

“When we go to franchising in Super League, the Leopards is a difference. Whenever anyone wears leopard print they are now automatically a Leigh fan!”

Leigh, of course, go up against the Salford Red Devils in Super League tonight as Beaumont, head coach Adrian Lam and head of rugby Chris Chester aim to win their first top flight game of the season for the first time in the summer era.

Three times the Leigh club has been in Super League and on all three occasions they have failed to win their opening game.

Now, at the Leigh Sports Village and in front of what is expected to be a near sellout crowd, will Lam be able to steer his men to glory?