Leigh Centurions have confirmed the signing of Jake Emmitt following his release from Toronto Wolfpack.
The 30-year-old Wales international forward joins the Centurions for the third time in his career, having earned Heritage Number #1332 following a dual registration spell from St Helens in 2010 and a permanent contract between 2014-2016.
Leigh Centurions head coach John Duffy said: "I think it's a great signing. Jake's a great addition to our squad. Everyone knows we are short on numbers at the moment and he's the best middle on the market at this moment in time.
"We have been working on this for a while so I'm looking forward to seeing him back in a Leigh Centurions shirt.
"I'm not sure what went on in the past because I wasn't here. But everyone who comes into Leigh Centurions while I'm head coach starts with a clean slate and is measured by what they do under me irrespective of their past, good or bad.
"Derek made it clear to me when I started that he doesn't hamper recruitment based on past issues and I would always have his support on players I wanted to bring to the Club.
"I only recruit people that can perform for me and fit into the culture we have here and Jake does that and that is all that matters to me.
"Jake's really passionate about playing for Leigh again. He's someone I know well and he's a great player and friend."
Jake Emmitt said: "I'm made up to be coming back to Leigh. It feels like I'm coming home. Once you have Leigh in your blood it doesn't leave you."
Emmitt realises he has work to do to get some Leigh fans back on side after his abrupt departure in June 2016 to play country football in Australia. Within two months he was back, playing out the season for John Duffy's Swinton Lions before joining Toronto.
"At the time it was an opportunity for me to do something different in my life," he said. "I went out there to play with a mate of mine but when we didn't make the play-offs I was out of a job and Swinton offered me a chance to come home.
"It was all some time ago and everyone was in a different place. Maybe it could have all been handled differently but we can't change that now. There's no point looking back.
"I signed for Toronto and it was a totally different experience and really good for me. It made me grow up and I've no regrets.
"We played Leigh three times last season and as a player you always go out and do your best for the club you're playing for.
"Now Duffs is in charge there's a totally different atmosphere at Leigh and he's got the mix right. The family spirit is back and there are some great people involved, some of whom I've known for years, and the smiles are back on their faces.
"I can't wait to get started. There are no grudges from me. Leigh fans are passionate and love their club. For me to get them all back on side it's all to do with my performances and I'll be doing my utmost to win them over."
Emmitt will become a part-time player as he looks to further his training as a welder and has plans to become a steel erector. "It's part of the next chapter and I'm looking forward to the challenge," he said. "Duffs has fixed me up with a job through club connections and I will be able to plan for the future when my playing career is over."
Emmitt made his first-team debut for St Helens in 2008 and played in their 2010 grand final defeat against Wigan Warriors. He subsequently played for Castleford Tigers and Salford before joining Leigh on a permanent deal.
He was Touchdown Club player of the Year in 2014 and both LCTV and Super-Leigh Player of the Year in 2015 and has played 89 games for the Club so far.
He made 51 appearances for Toronto, including their first game in 2017 against Siddal in the Challenge Cup and was a member of the Wolfpack side defeated 4-2 by London Broncos in last year's MPG.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Lionel (#683) in playing for both Leigh and Wales, Emmitt has played seven times for his country and has scored 20 tries and kicked one goal in 245 career appearances.