Leigh Centurions are delighted to confirm the signing of Fiji international prop Ben Nakubuwai until the end of the 2022 season.
Nakubuwai, 26 and an imposing 6ft4 and 17st, has previous experience of playing in the UK having spent two seasons with Salford Red Devils in the 2018-19 seasons.
More recently he has been playing for Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup, coached by recent Leeds Rhinos head coach appointment Rohan Smith.
Devils beat Wynnum Manly 16-10 in the 2021 grand final at Redcliffe to become competition premiers.
Born in Fiji but brought up in the small New South Wales town of Leeton, his father Pio was a dual code Fiji international who represented his country in the 1995 Centenary World Cup in the UK.
Ben was part of Melbourne Storm’s junior set-up before joining Gold Coast Titans and playing two NRL games towards the end of the 2017 season, scoring a try on debut against Parramatta. Former Leigh players Nathan Peats, Nathaniel Peteru and Paterika Vaivai were also in the Gold Coast team that day. He was also a regular for the Titans’ reserve team, the Tweed Head Seagulls.
Ben was a key member of the Fiji team that reached the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup after a shock 4-2 win over New Zealand in Christchurch in the quarter-final. Fiji had won all three group games over Italy, USA and Wales. Their amazing adventure ended in a 54-6 defeat against Australia in Brisbane.
Recruited by Salford in 2018, he was a regular over two seasons, making 27 of his 41 appearances from the bench and scoring three tries.
After spending the 2021 preseason with Brisbane Broncos he has been a key member of the successful Norths Devils team.
On signing Nakubuwai, Centurions Head Coach Adrian Lam: “We have been tracking Ben for quite a while now and is the sort of player that fits into the DNA that we want at this club moving forward.
“He is a big body front-rower in size and shape and will bring his powerful, agile running ability as well as his aggressive defensive nature.
“He plays big minutes and a player who will fit straight into the team and help out our forward pack. In saying this, he does have the ability to play out of position at times.
“We are looking forward to him joining this great group here at Leigh Centurions and bringing that great personality to Leigh Sports Village.”
“He is a down to earth guy with great morals and understands how a team environment works and will fill fit into this group perfectly.”
“Ben is a really important acquisition for this club and we are working hard to continuously keep building on this team by doing our due diligence to get the best fit for this side, not just the next person off the heap.”
Ben Nakubuwai is sponsored by Alpha Skip Hire. Visit their website here.