Leigh Centurions are pleased to confirm the signing of Australian pivot Daniel Mortimer on a contract until the end of November 2019. The 28-year-old will link up with the Centurions straight away and be available for the rest of the current campaign.
Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes said:
“I am really looking forward to getting Daniel over and having him in our squad for a big push at the back end of this year and beyond.
“There are lots of players circling the market at the moment but it’s about getting the right ones that fit our bill and with Daniel I believe we have done that. The positions he plays (nine and half back) are areas he has played extremely well at during the pinnacle of his career and with plenty miles left in the legs I expect him to continue with our current players to drive our standards on and off the field as well as adding great experience to an important part of our team.
“His performances from this year and those previous speak for themselves but what was just as comforting was the feedback from trusted players and in particular NRL coaching staff that have worked with Daniel over the years, all saying he is a true professional on and off the field.”
Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said:
” Daniel is another proven quality NRL player with lots of experience at the highest level including grand finals. He is a running pivot with a great kicking game and can also run at nine so is a very versatile player.
“My friend Marwan (Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash) tipped me up on Daniel and the possibility of getting him over early, so after running it by the coaches Neil and me met Steve Gillis, his agent, whilst he was over for Magic and were able to agree terms, although we had to be patient to get Daniel with the Origin games over in Australia.
“Although we have now started to score some points and looked a bit more threatening in attack, at the time we looked in real need for some quality in the halves so it is interesting now to have increased pressure for those spots with lots of options for Neil to work with.
“Again it is all money but it is not only about ensuring we maintain our Super League status; it is also about improving the squad for next year as I want this Club to become more and more competitive so that over time we can win something. I hope that the fans will appreciate this and come out in numbers to watch Daniel take to the field.”
From a famous Rugby League family, his father and three uncles all played the game to a high level and amassed a total of 738 NRL games between them. Dad Peter, who also played 22 games for Hull KR in the 1987-88 season, and uncles Steve and Chris all played for Canterbury Bulldogs while uncle Glen played for Cronulla. Steve and Chris also represented Australia.
Sydney born Daniel Mortimer, a former Australian Schoolboys representative began his career with Parramatta Eels in 2009 and was voted NRL Rookie of the Year in his debut season when he played alongside Fuifui Moimoi in their 16-23 grand final defeat at the hands of Melbourne Storm.
He moved on to Sydney Roosters in 2012 and came off the bench to feature in their 26-18 grand final defeat of a Manly side including new Leigh Centurions team-mate Glenn Stewart in 2013.
Moving onto Gold Coast during the 2014 season he then joined Cronulla in 2017 and has scored 21 tries and kicked ten goals in a total of 128 NRL games. He has also represented the Prime Minister’s XIII.
This season he has renewed his allegiance to foundation club Newtown Jets, now Cronulla’s feeder club in the NSW Cup. Back in 2012 Mortimer captained the Jets, then Roosters’ feeder club to a 22-18 grand final victory over Balmain, kicking three goals in their first NSW Cup premiership success.
Speaking of his move to Leigh Centurions, Daniel Mortimer said;
“I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in my career. I have been following Leigh closely now for the past six weeks and I hope I can play a significant role for the club between now and season’s end.
“Playing overseas has always been an attraction and I am lucky that a great club like Leigh took the initiative to recruit me. It will be challenging but I’m always up for a challenge and hopefully we will do well in the weeks ahead. I’m very excited and look forward to a long and successful relationship with the club.”
Mortimer made a fine debut for Cronulla Sharks last week coming off the bench to help inspire a second half comeback from 16-4 down as the Sharks beat Wests Tigers 24-22. Earlier today he played his second Sharks game in a 35-18 home defeat against Manly Sea Eagles prior to leaving for a new adventure in England.
This was first published on the Leigh Centurions website