Stone makes winning Leigh debut

New Australian recruit Sam Stone says he’s looking forward to adapting to life at Leigh and is ready to deal with the threat of Covid as well as relegation.

Backrower Stone and his Gold Coast Titans team-mate, prop Jai Whitbread, have joined the Super League strugglers on contracts which include next season.

Stone made his debut on Sunday and helped the Centurions to their first win of the season, 32-22 against Salford Red Devils at Leigh Sports Village.

Malta international Stone, the 23-year-old son of former Huddersfield coach Rick, has played 39 NRL games, with five tries, for Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast, but featured only four times this year.

“I haven’t been too scared about the whole Covid situation. Lots of people here have been vaccinated and I thought it was a good opportunity to come over,” he said.

“It’s definitely something I wanted to do before my career was done, to live a different lifestyle, see a different part of the world and of course to experience a different style of rugby.

“Everyone, I have spoken to, including my old man, says Super League is more open and less structured than the NRL. So that will suit me.”

Stone, whose last Gold Coast game was on June 20, told the Leigh Journal: “I was still training full-time with the Titans.

“I was also 18th man a couple of times so I was there or thereabouts, ready for a game.

“I have told (Leigh coach) Kurt Haggerty I am happy to jump straight in. I am definitely ready to go.”

Stone says he has put thoughts of next season on the back burner.

“My focus has been to get over here, play some good rugby for Leigh and try to win a few games. I’ll deal with the other situation if it arises,” he insisted.

Leigh face Catalans in France on Bank Holiday Monday, August 30.

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.