Widnes Vikings have confirmed that Tom Armstrong, 26, has signed a two year deal starting in the 2017 Super League season.
After making a try-scoring debut for hometown club St Helens in 2009, Tom played for Leigh on a dual contract basis in 2011, scoring the match-winning try in their Northern Rail Cup Final victory over Halifax.
Tom played for Swinton Lions in 2012 and Kingstone Press Championship winners Sheffield Eagles in 2013 before re-joining Leigh Centurions. To date Tom has appeared 90 times for the Championship League Leaders, scoring 52 tries.
Armstrong recently completed a Masters Degree at Manchester University which was also marked by him receiving the prestigious award of Sport Manchester’s Student of the Year for 2015.
Denis Betts said:
"Tom has been on my radar for the last few years, I looked at him when he was released from St Helens to go and further his studies.
"He has worked his way through Championship level and played outstandingly for Leigh, but now he is looking for a Super League opportunity
"Tom has some great qualities to offer, great speed, durability and will add to the competition for places within the squad
"I am really pleased to say that he has chosen to come to Widnes over a number of other clubs that were looking to bring him in."
Tom was asked his thoughts on moving to the Vikings
"I am elated to have signed for the Vikings. There was several Super league Clubs interested in penning my signature . But I chose Widnes for a few reasons:
"Denis Betts as a coach approached me a few years back after leaving saints but I decided to get my masters in petroleum engineering at the university of Manchester. When he expressed an interest this time he did so with a lot of knowledge of my game and style of play which instilled me with real confidence in making the transition back into super league with the Vikings.
"Widnes as a club have been developing and making some great progress in the super league year on year and out of the other teams the style of play Denis instills in the players at Widnes really suits my game.
"It's a club steeped in history and my dad has been a fan of the team for many years which was the icing on the cake for me."
"The squad is very well rounded at Widnes and this is proven by the little activity that has occurred in terms of transfers. But I think I can bolster the back line with the energy, enthusiasm, footwork and the skill I have in my game. Ultimately I want to fit in seamlessly and be accepted by the boys as soon as possible so I can concentrate on adding to the squad in whatever way that may be.
"The opportunity is of perfect timing for me. I have just finished my masters and I'm ready for the challenge the Super League offers. This is what I have been working towards for the past four years playing part time whist at my studies. Now that's behind me I just can't wait to get going working with Denis and the boys taking the opportunity with both hands and to help the team get to the heights they are aiming for in the comp! When the opportunity comes for me to step onto that field I will do it with pride and give it my all!
"I would like to thank Ian Blease and Gary Lloyd (Signature Sports Management) for working with both clubs to make this happen and enable me to sign for Widnes Vikings. "
Leigh Centurions Owner Derek Beaumont said:
“Tom has always expressed a desire to play in Super League and I can fully understand that. It is a difficult position for us as we cannot guarantee any player that at this stage.
“I wish Tom every success and hopefully we will achieve our own goals of reaching Super League. For Tom he is now certain of that and I am sure he will relish the challenge. I have no doubt he will remain committed to this Club and will want to finish on a high.”