AUSTRALIAN Blake Ferguson could be Leigh’s not-so-secret weapon when the Centurions bid for the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-final on Sunday.
The sting of victory over Championship rivals Sheffield Eagles is a final against Barrow or Featherstone at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 28.
The capture of a short-term deal from the former Grand Final winner and NRL home state is a massive statement of intent from owner Derek Beaumont.
Ferguson, 32, arrives with a lot of baggage off the pitch but, before an unfortunate cross-code switch to Japanese rugby union, he was considered one of the best RL wingers in the world.
Head coach Adrian Lam was unafraid to select players so soon after arriving in the UK with Kai O’Donnell the most recent example.
Ex Sydney Rooster and Cronulla Sharks star Ferguson landed yesterday.
Provided there were no hitches in the 11th hour, he is expected to play a part against the 2019 Champions at Leigh Sports Village (kick-off 4pm)
Striker Ben Nakabuwai, who recently featured for the North Devils in the Queensland Cup, is also in contention for his debut.
Leigh won 34-6 against the Eagles last week; a performance that didn’t impress the coach or the players too much.
And Sheffield boss Mark Aston, boosted by the returns of Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Anthony Thackeray, believes revenge is possible.
“Sheffield are a good team and they will have some of their best players coming back so it will be a different game,” Lam said.
“We were a bit frustrated afterwards, so that gives us something to orient ourselves to this weekend.”
Back row Sam Stone, who often goes unnoticed with his performances, added: “We’ve come a long way inside of us.
“If we can clean up some of the areas where we were scrappy, we’ll be in a good position.”
Leigh has conceded just 12 points in his last four games, outscoring his opponents 178-12.
“They are building towards the end of the season to push for the Super League and you wouldn’t be against them with the squad they have and the recruitment they are doing,” Eagles chief Aston said.
“But there’s no pressure on us. We can take the chains off and get on with it.
“We can be a bit better and if we are a bit better and show the same energy and commitment, who knows. I am a believer; I’m a dreamer, so you never know.
Leigh will know who his potential final opponents are when Barrow’s match with Featherstone kicks off at 2 p.m.