Smith signs on loan as Leigh remain busy

Leigh Centurions have landed St Helens’ England Knights hooker Aaron Smith on a season-long loan and signed Salford’s Ireland international back Ed Chamberlain as they prepare for life back in the Championship.

The relegated Centurions are also being linked with Swinton prospect Luis Roberts, the 19-year-old winger who was a contender for the Championship Young Player of the Year award.

Busy head of rugby Chris Chester has already recruited prop Chris Green from his old club Wakefield, Huddersfield centre or second rower Joe Wardle and London Broncos backrower Jacob Jones.

Smith, a 25-year-old Saints Academy product who featured in the 2019 Grand Final win over Salford, scored two tries to help the Knights beat Jamaica 56-4 earlier this month.

He made nine appearances this season, taking his total for Saints to 41, but would have faced competition from new NRL recruit Joey Lussick as well as well as seasoned star James Roby next year.

He had a previous spell at the Centurions on dual-registration in 2019.

“I’ve had a small glimpse of what playing for Leigh is like, and I’m really looking forward to pulling on the shirt and showing the fans what I can do,” he said.

“I want to have a good year and help the club achieve its aim of winning the competition.”

Chester said: “Aaron has been a great player for Saints but with his game time limited will now have the opportunity to play regularly.

“He’s been a great understudy to James Roby and has got a really good work ethic and skill base.”

Widnes product Chamberlain, 25, joined Salford in 2018 but spent the last two years on loan to London Broncos.

“Ed is a strong player and also a competent goal-kicker,” added Chester.

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.