POPULAR prop forward Sam Hopkins has become a casualty of Leigh’s relegation to the Championship.

Hopkins was made surplus to requirements the day before his call-up to the Welsh World Cup squad was confirmed.

Now, the 27-year-old front rower, who signed a three-year deal with Centurions only last August, says he is playing for his future Down Under.

“I was gob smacked when they told me they were releasing me,” said Hopkins who made his Leigh debut in 2011 after emerging through the ranks at Leigh East.

“I am devastated and didn’t see it coming. I haven’t got an agent and I haven’t spoken to any other clubs.

“I am back to square one and I don’t know know what I am going to do.”

Hopkins scored a try in Leigh’s final Middle 8’s game at London Broncos and then came off the bench in Centurions’ 26-10 defeat to Catalans Dragons in the Million Pound game.

“I am confident I will get another club but it just depends where,” added Hopkins.

“I might have to move house, re-locate. It’s all up in the air.

“However, it is what it is. I have got to accept it and move on.”

Hopkins, who made his international debut against Italy last year, qualifies for Wales through his grandfather, John Hopkins.

“At first we all thought he was Irish because he was living there when he moved to England.

“All his brothers and sisters were Irish. But it’s on his birth and death certificates he was born in Wales.

“Despite what’s happened at Leigh, I am ecstatic about getting the call-up for the World Cup.

“If I can shine and put in some good performances you don’t know where it might take you.”

Wales will be World Cup globe trotters facing Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, Fiji in Townsville, Queensland and Ireland in Perth.

Hopkins won’t be the last player to leave after Leigh’s stay in Super League ended after just one season.

Centre Matty Fleming, who finished last term on loan from St Helens, has joined London Broncos on a two-year deal.

On the credit side, Leigh have recruited Hull’s versatile former Castleford forward, Jordan Thompson, on a two-year contract.

Thompson, 26, recently clocked up his 100th appearance for the Black and Whites.

Leigh head coach Neil Jukes said: “In recent days the Club has made some uncompromising and heartfelt decisions that have had a significant impact on everybody.

“Ultimately, however, time doesn’t stand still and we have to re-evaluate things and put the building blocks in place for next year to start to get the Club back to where it belongs.

“Obviously we have had to make tough decisions but that has created opportunities for other people to be a part of the Club’s future.

“I have monitored Jordan closely for a number of years and he has played a lot of games for a top four club.

“He is ready to go on and achieve a lot more things in his career and has plenty of mileage in his legs.

“Having spoken to Jordan, his hunger and appetite for the game shone through and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Leigh Centurions.”