Leigh Centurions are delighted to confirm the signing of Travis Burns on loan from St Helens until the end of the current season.
The 31-year-old Queenslander is a vastly experienced player in both the NRL and Super League and though best known as a goal-kicking stand-off is a highly versatile pivot player.
After beginning his NRL career with Manly in 2005, Burns later played for North Queensland Cowboys and Penrith Panthers before making the move to Hull KR in 2013. After two impressive seasons there he moved to St Helens for a reported £60,000 fee on a three-year contract.
He is credited with just over 200 senior appearances, 127 gained in eight seasons in the NRL and in his first season with Hull KR showed his prowess as a goal-kicker, landing 80 goals including two drop goals.
Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes said: “Travis will add huge experience to our squad. He will no doubt enhance the culture and standards off the field just as much as on it.
“He is a great competitor and wants to win at all costs which I’m sure will bear well with his new team mates and in particular our great fans. There is one goal to achieve and should we give ourselves a chance to prevail we will need quality in depth across the board. With Travis and with Gregg McNally nearing in on full fitness it certainly creates that.
“A lot of Super League clubs were interested in securing Travis’s services but he showed a strong desire to join our Club which speaks volumes for the feedback he was given by current and previous players and again gives us all confidence that we are moving in the right direction on and off the field.
“I’d like to thank Mike Rush, the CEO at St Helens and George Mimis (Travis’s agent) in particular for their help during this process and look forward to welcoming Travis to our Club.”
Leigh Centurions Owner Derek Beaumont said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Travis to our Club and is yet again a clear indication of our ambitions to reach Super League. We have been monitoring his position for a while and I had no hesitation in supporting Neil and his team in making the move once the opportunity arose.
“Anything that can strengthen the squad and its opportunity to achieve its goals must be capitalised upon where possible and whilst this increases competition in the squad and adds pressure to the selection process that can’t be a contributing factor when making signings.
“Apart from my desire and single minded approach to succeed I also have a significant amount of money invested in the Club with increased commitments next year and therefore it would be naive of me not to support those I empower to shape the right squad to select from to reach Super League. We fell well short in the 8s last year after a great season and looking at the teams likely to be in the Middle 8s at this stage we will have a very tough job on our hands.
“We are going well and sit top of the league but we will not become complacent and rest on our laurels. We have now got a solid coaching team in place with Cookey’s addition and that will be even stronger next year when Kieron is added.
“I will listen to them and support them as I have always stated I will and I look forward to Travis earning his opportunity to showcase the skills that have made him so successful in the game. It is a great time to be a Leigh Centurions fan and I urge all our passionate fans to spread the word of what is going on in the LSV and bring a friend as we shape the Club’s future.”