LEIGH Centurions have signed Iain Thornley after two seasons with Catalans Dragons.

Wigan born Thornley, 27, will combine his part-time playing contract with training for a new career as an electrician and he says the move to join up with John Duffy's team has given him just the spark he needs.

"It's the perfect move for me and I can't wait to get started," Thornley says.

"I've been planning for a career and life after rugby and Rugby League Cares have been a tremendous help while I really appreciate what Leigh Centurions have also done to welcome me."

Thornley already has a Leigh Heritage Number, earned during what was for him a momentous 2013 season with Wigan Warriors.

In that defining year for his career he scored a try in Wigan's Challenge Cup Final victory over Hull FC at Wembley Stadium. Then he then followed up by earning a Super League grand final winner's ring after Wigan completed the double by defeating a Warrington Wolves side including Micky Higham at Old Trafford.

But to cap it all he became #1384 after playing one game for Leigh, a hard fought Championship win over Halifax at LSV in July during the club's dual registration agreement with the Warriors.

"My brother Andy was at Leigh at the time alongside John Duffy and it was great to play that game and a proud moment for me," Thornley says.

"Andy knows Duffy really well and I've known him a long time too so it was a fantastic when the chance came to play for him here at Leigh.

"He's trying to re-build the club and it's a huge honour for me to be in at the start of it all. I'll do everything I can to help.

"You look around the ground and the facilities and everything is Super League standard and the fans are so passionate.

"We need to get back up there as soon as possible."

Thornley was at Hull KR in the 2016 season when they lost their Super League status after losing to Salford in that dramatic Million Pound Game. Then he played for Catalans in the MPG that relegated Leigh in 2017, scoring a try along the way. It was an experience he admits he didn't enjoy.

"I was never a fan of the MPG and though it might have been good for the television viewers to me it did nothing for the game," he says. "It was a really difficult game for everyone and I'm glad it's gone. It was a shame Leigh had to bear the brunt of it. We made a decision beforehand not to celebrate if we won and instead spent time consoling the Leigh players.

"But that's in the past. Now we are all together trying to build Leigh back up. It's a special club, a family club and Duffy will build a culture and a bond within the group that will make this great to be part of. I've played in a lot of big games, had some success but now I'm starting a new chapter and I couldn't be more pleased and honoured to be playing for Leigh Centurions.

"I've had three years away from friends and family and now it feels good to be home."

Centurions head coach John Duffy said: "I've known Iain and his family since he was a kid. They were playing at Ashton Bears where I first started. Andy and Iain were juniors and their mum and dad were heavily involved in the club.

"Iain's done it all in his career. All the experiences he's had, the different cultures, the great players he's played alongside.

"He's one very talented player. And he's massive. To be honest I'd forgotten just how big he is.

"Iain's been real smart about his career and planning for his life after rugby. But from talking to him what came through most of all is that he really wants to play for Leigh Centurions.

"He's really enthusiastic about getting the club back to where he thinks it should be."