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Leigh Centurions sign France centre Pala

Leigh Centurions have signed France centre Mathias Pala Credit: Leigh Centurions

Leigh Centurions have signed France internation centre Mathias Pala from Catalans Dragons.

The 26-year-old has signed a contract up until the end of 2016 although the club has the option of extending his stay a further year.

Pala made his international debut for France against England in 2011, the same year he made his Super League debut for the Dragons.

Leigh Centurions Head of Rugby Derek Beaumont said:

“Mathias is very strong with good feet and is proven at Super League and international level so is a positive addition to our family."

“I am really looking forward to welcoming Mathias and ensuring he settles in with us quickly to put himself in contention for our next home game against Sheffield. I'm sure our fantastic fans will welcome Mathias with open arms and he will soon learn from them the Leyth language."

– Derek Beaumont, Leigh Centurions Head of Rugby


Red Devils' grieving brothers to play together for first time after father's death

Salford Red Devils' three Griffin brothers are set to play alongside each other for the first time on Saturday just four days after the death of their father.

33 year-old Darrell, 25-year-old Josh and 22-year-old George have declared themselves available for selection after speaking with Red Devils Head Coach Iestyn Harris and have been named in the squad for the Super League match against Widnes, which will open the Magic Weekend at Newcastle's St James' Park.

33-year-old Darrell will be joined by his brothers on the field for the first time this weekend Credit: PA Images

A minute's silence will be held before kick-off as a mark of respect to the Griffin family.

Josh broke the news of his father's death from a heart attack on Tuesday and admits it will be an emotional occasion on Saturday.

'Me and my brothers have put our hands up this week to play in memory of him,' he tweeted.

'Will be hardest thing.'

'He would have wanted us to take that field, he loved watching us play and I'm sure it's going to be an emotional experience.'

Salford's Josh announced the news of his father's death this week Credit: PA Images

Salford owner Marwan Koukash said:

'I have nothing but admiration for the strength and professionalism of the three brothers.'

The youngest of the brothers George joined his siblings at the AJ Bell Stadium in the winter. Darrell joined the club two and a half years ago, while Josh arrived last season.

22-year-old George, the youngest brother Credit: PA Images

Rugby League: Mick Nanyn announces retirement

Credit: PA Images

Goalkicking centre Mick Nanyn, the sixth highest scorer in the history of rugby league, has announced his retirement.

Wigan-born Nanyn, who turns 33 next week, amassed a total of 3700 points in a 16-year career that began and finished at Swinton and also took in spells with Rochdale, Whitehaven, Widnes, Oldham and Leigh.

Nanyn represented Scotland at the 2008 World Cup in Australia and won the Northern Rail Cup with Leigh in 2011.

"It was an extremely difficult decision for me to make and one that I thought long and hard about," Nanyn said.

"But, once I realised that my body couldn't do what my head wanted it to, I knew it was the right time for me to end my playing career."

Swinton head coach John Duffy said: "We are gutted to be losing Mick's services but he has expressed his views for retiring on personal grounds which we totally respect.

"We have decided to offer Mick a role on our staff due to his qualities as a person and his outstanding knowledge of the game and we hope he accepts."


Wane urges Flower to 'be aggressive' in comeback

Wigan Warriors Ben Flower fights with St Helens Paul Wellens. Credit: PA

Wigan coach Shaun Wane has urged Ben Flower to "be aggressive" when he makes his comeback from the bench against Warrington on Thursday after completing a six-month ban for punching St Helens' Lance Hohaia in the Grand Final.

Flower became the first player to be sent off in a Grand Final when, with just two minutes gone, the prop spilled a pass and was clipped by Hohaia's forearm, reacting by producing a punch that knocked the New Zealander out and then following up with a second blow while his opponent lay unconscious.

Flower's actions have been widely condemned but Wane said the player had "more than served his punishment" and is fit and raring to go.

I'm hoping he's going to be aggressive, if he holds anything back he won't be playing against Wakefield the week after.

– Shaun Wane, Wigan coach
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