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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Kiwi Benson appointed Leigh coach
Relegated Super League club Leigh have named 38-year-old New Zealander Tony Benson as their new head coach.

The Junior Kiwis boss was recommended to the Centurions by St Helens coach Daniel Anderson, who worked with Benson when he was in charge of New Zealand.

Benson, who has signed a two-year deal, replaces former coach Darren Abram, who left the club a month ago.

Leigh have suffered a disastrous first season in Britain's top flight, picking up just five points from 25 games.

"We have found the man we wanted," said Leigh director of football Steve Grainey, who revealed that the club had a list of 38 applicants to choose from.

"He is the best coach available in the world and comes very highly recommended."

The Centurions are a club that have a lot to offer
Tony Benson

Benson will take over full responsibility for the team when the club's pre-season training begins in October.

Caretaker coach Tommy Martyn is expected to select the Centurions team to play St Helens on Sunday.

"I am delighted to be given this opportunity," said Benson, who has British grandparents.

"I have been watching the English league very closely for a couple of years and, when the possibility came about to coach here, I did not hesitate to apply.

"The Centurions are a club that have a lot to offer. It has been a difficult season for them but, from what I have seen, they are determined to fight back."





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