Australian half-back Drew Hutchison has become the latest player to join Leigh’s quest for an immediate return to Super League.
The former Junior Kangaroo has penned a two-year deal with the Centurions, who were relegated to the Championship after losing last month’s Million Pound Game.
Hutchison, 22, came through the youth ranks at St George Illawarra Dragons and made his NRL debut in 2015, although his progress was halted this year by a serious knee injury.
“Drew is an outstanding signing for Leigh Centurions,” said head coach Neil Jukes. “He is a very highly rated and exceedingly talented half-back.
“The fact he has chosen Leigh Centurions, ahead of interest from many other clubs, shows how far we have come as a club in the past few years.
“Drew will be an instrumental figure for Leigh Centurions in 2018 and beyond. He has all the qualities to forge a senior career as outstanding as his junior career.”
Hutchison will link up with a host of fellow new faces when Leigh start pre-season training in early November, including Peter Mata’utia, Bodene Thompson and Paterika Vaivai.
“Drew is the one I really wanted to land and I was as relieved as I was pleased and excited when Kez (head of rugby Keiron Cunningham) forwarded me his contract,” said Leigh owner Derek Beaumont.
“A Junior Kangaroo and State of Origin junior, Drew has been the main man all the way and indeed earned the (number) seven shirt at St George only to suffer a setback.
“He is really looking forward to being a part of the young, energetic team that we are building at the club to earn our place back in Super League, where we can kick on to great things.”