Championship: Half-back Ben Jeffries pulls out of move to Leigh Centurions
Last Updated: 15/08/14 7:36pm
Former Bradford and Wakefield half-back Ben Jeffries has pulled out of a move to Championship leaders Leigh for injury and family reasons.
The 33-year-old, who returned to Australia at the end of the 2012 season to work in the mines and play part-time rugby, was due to join the Centurions on a two-year deal from December.
Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont said: "It is very honest of Ben to contact us and notify us of his recent significant injury with a torn bicep.
A combination of that and how it impacts on his family situation means that he unable to join us at Leigh Centurions. I am sure he would have been a great asset to the club and we wish him well for a speedy recovery.
Beaumont on Jeffries
"A combination of that and how it impacts on his family situation means that he unable to join us at Leigh Centurions. I am sure he would have been a great asset to the club and we wish him well for a speedy recovery.
"We will hold his registration in the UK for the duration of the contract that he signed but we hope that should he recovery from the injury he will be able to play again in Australia."
Leigh, who will make a push to regain their place in Super League next year, will step up their search for a replacement and in the meantime have re-signed second rower Sam Hopkins on a season-long loan from Wigan.
Hopkins, 24, moved from Leigh to Wigan at the end of last season but failed to break into their Super League team and has spent much of the campaign on loan to the Centurions.
Leigh coach Paul Rowley said: "I am delighted to add Sam to our squad as a permanent fixture in 2015. His experience this year with Wigan has accelerated his transition into a professional athlete after capturing him late from the community game.
"Sam is clearly happy and focused at Leigh and is very much a big part of our future. I would like to thank Wigan for their excellent communication and assistance throughout the process."
The Centurions, who clinched the league leaders' shield with victory over Featherstone last Friday, have given Scotland World Cup prop Sam Barlow a new five-year full-time contract which will keep him at the club until the end of 2019.