25th April 2019, 14:51 | championship
Leigh Centurions have confirmed the return of Ryan Brierley on an initial one-month loan from Toronto Wolfpack.
Brierley, 27, scored 133 tries in 125 games for the Centurions between 2012 and 2016 and is currently fifth in the Club’s all-time scoring list.
Leigh Centurions Owner Derek Beaumont said: "I am really pleased to see Ryan back at Leigh. I really do feel it’s where he belongs and where his heart is. He enjoyed many years at the Club and was an instrumental part of a lot of the success we enjoyed when he was here.
"He has genuine pace and is a fantastic reader of the game. At times it seems like there is more than one of him on the pitch, the way he seems to get on the end of everything. I have always had a good relationship with Ryan, both during his time at the Club and after his departure, making him welcome every time he has returned, making it easy for us to agree his return."
Head Coach John Duffy added: "It's an exciting opportunity for Ryan to come back to Leigh, as it's the club where everything happened for him. I'm sure the fans will be excited to see him.
"I know he's looking forward to getting into training and getting to know how we play. Having coached Ryan at Scotland, I know it won't take him long to fit in with what we are doing. He's going to add some pace and some value to our attack."
Brierley commented: "John was a major factor in me coming back to Leigh. I worked with him at International level with Scotland, and this is an exciting opportunity for myself, not only to get game time but reach my full potential. I’d just like to say a big thank you to Derek and to John for this opportunity."
After coming up through the ranks of local community club Westhoughton Lions, Brierley joined Leigh from Castleford Tigers in 2012, earning Heritage Number #1354 after his debut against Barrow Raiders. He became the first Leigh player to top the Club’s try-scoring charts in four successive seasons and his tally of 43 tries in 2014 was the third highest in Club history.
He was Championship Young Player of the Year in both 2013 and 2014 and also became respected for his work in the community, becoming an ambassador for Leigh Community Trust while his Brierley’s Buddies community programme won a funding grant from the Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation.
Brierley left LSV for Huddersfield Giants in March 2016 before joining Toronto Wolfpack for an undisclosed fee in April 2017 during their inaugural season. Last year he became the Wolfpack’s regular goal-kicker, landing 84 goals, including two drop-goals.
Brierley made his Scotland debut in the 2016 Four Nations against Australia and has made five international appearances so far.
In his career to date he has scored 175 tries and kicked 132 goals, including six drop-goals in 194 games.
Ryan will be sponsored by Impact Insurance for the duration of his loan-period.