Leigh have picked up former Australia Test backrower Glenn Stewart as their first signing since gaining promotion to Super League.
The 32-year-old second rower, who was released by Catalans Dragons just 12 months into a three-year contract for family reasons, has signed a two-year contract with the Centurions.
“This is a massive signing for our club,” Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said.
“In order to be a top Super League side we have to be able to attract the top players and this is evidence of not only our intent but our ability to do that.
“Glenn’s addition takes us to another level on and off the field and will make attracting other top players more possible.”
Stewart enjoyed a 13-year career in the NRL, playing 185 games for Manly and a further 18 for South Sydney in 2015 before making the move to Super League.
He appeared in four NRL grand finals, won five caps with Australia and made five appearances for NSW in State of Origin.
“I have loved my time in France,” said Stewart, who played in all but two of the club’s 32 league and cup matches in 2016.
“The Dragons have been really good to me and my family but my son, in particular, needed a bit of help with the language barrier and as regards his schooling he needs to be in a country where English is the primary language.
“Catalans were kind enough to grant me a release and one thing quickly led to another.
“But I am not coming over for a holiday. It was an awesome achievement for Leigh to get into Super League and they are not going in there just to compete.
“I want to play my best footy, achieve things with the team and repay Derek for the faith he has shown in me. It’s a big one for me and I can’t wait to get started.”