Oliver Russell Joins Leigh Centurions On Loan

Leigh Centurions are delighted to confirm the signing of Oliver Russell from Huddersfield Giants on a season-long loan deal.

Russell made six Betfred Super League appearances for the Giants in 2018, kicking eight goals and a drop-goal. He gave an accomplished display as the Giants won 25-18 at Leeds in June and a week later kicked a late penalty to seal a dramatic 26-25 win over Catalans. His father Richard was an accomplished player, making a total of over 300 senior appearances for Wigan, Oldham and Castleford between 1985 and 1998 and also representing England and Great Britain Under 21s..

Leigh Centurions head coach John Duffy said: “Olly comes from really good Rugby League stock and I coached him at Wigan when he was 16. He’s got a really old head on young shoulders and reads the game well.

“I’d like to thank Richard Thewlis and Simon Woolford for making this loan deal possible. I’m sure it will benefit all parties. Olly will have the opportunity of staking a claim for a regular place in the Championship He is flourishing and has been killing pre season so it will be great to have him on board.

“Olly is best mates with Josh Woods, who’s joined us on a season long loan from Wigan and so it will be great to see them in harness. With experienced players like Martyn Ridyard and Micky Higham to play alongside they can both get fantastic value from their year with us which will hopefully stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers.”

Oliver Russell said: “I’m really excited about coming to Leigh and playing under John. He’s a very good technical coach and a good person so when the opportunity arose I jumped at it.

“I’m aiming to play as many games as I can and to win something with Leigh. It was great to get the opportunity to play some Super League games last year and everyone at Huddersfield has been fantastic in the way they’ve helped me progress my career.

“I’m looking forward to playing with Josh and learning off the likes of Micky Higham. He’s been there and done that in the game and he’s a great role model.

“My dad’s best friend is Timmy Street who’s a great family friend and a real funny guy. Timmy’s a legend in Leigh- they love him there- so I know he’s looking forward to coming to watch me play for the Centurions.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me.”

Oliver Russell came through the ranks of Oldham St Anne’s, where he was coached by his father before signing for the Wigan Warriors Scholarship. In 2015 he played alongside recent Leigh signing Dec O’Donnell for England Youth against France. After playing a full year in the U19s Academy with Wigan he then left to join the Giants U19s.

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