Wigan Warriors' Ben Flower on the radar of Championship club
Wigan prop Ben Flower is in the sights of ambitious Championship club Leigh.
The Welsh prop is out of contract with Wigan later this month and is set to depart, ending a nine-year spell with the club.
The 33-year-old had agreed a deal to join Toronto Wolfpack for next season.
But after the decision to leave the expansion club out of Super League in 2021 – following their withdrawal this year – he was left searching for a new future employer.
It is understood several clubs have expressed interest, with the Centurions among the front-runners for his signature.
They yesterday signed Joe Mellor from the Wolfpack and have recently acquired another ex-Warrior, Matty Russell, for their 2021 squad.
Flower – who joined Wigan from Crusaders in 2012 – would add a wealth of experience, having won three Grand Finals, a World Club Challenge and a Challenge Cup with the Warriors.
Leigh could even be in Super League next season, if their bid to join the top-flight is successful.
Clubs have until the end of this month to apply, with a decision scheduled for December 16.
Toulouse, London, York, Bradford, Featherstone and Halifax and Widnes are also eligible to apply.
Flower has recently returned to Wigan’s first-team squad after a spell on the sidelines, and is likely to be in the mix for their next game – a semi-final next Thursday night.
He is not the only Wigan player set to depart this season – winger Joe Burgess is heading to Super League rivals Salford, though the move hasn’t been confirmed, while fringe backrower Jack Wells is also expected to join him at the Red Devils.
Halfbacks Thomas Leuluai and Jackson Hastings are both out of contract at the end of this season, and have had talks with the club about their future, while captain Sean O’Loughlin is set to retire.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed Lord Jonathan Caine, a Conservative peer who is vice chair of Rugby League’s All-Party Parliamentary Group, will chair a seven-strong panel that will decide the 12th Super League club for 2021.
Read unlimited Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors stories for less than 70p a week by subscribing to our sports package here