Reserves Preview | Gregg McNally Testimonial

Gregg McNally takes centre stage on his testimonial game on Sunday when his Rochdale Hornets side plays Leigh Leopards Reserves at Twist Lane (2pm kick-off).

Hornets are preparing for the start of their League One campaign while it’s the first outing for Stuart Littler’s Reserves side ahead of their opening Reserves Championship game at home to Leeds Rhinos on Saturday 9 March.

Gregg is one of the most popular Leigh players in the club’s recent history and is assured of a good turn out of supporters to boost his well-deserved testimonial year.

A proud Cumbrian who caught the eye playing for his native Whitehaven as a teenager, he joined Leigh initially in 2012 after being in a full-time environment at Huddersfield Giants.

After making his debut on 12 February 2012 in a 48-16 home win over Barrow Raiders, earning heritage number HN#1350, he made the fullback jersey his own and developed into an outstanding, highly skilled, attacking fullback.

Gregg scored 17 tries for the then Centurions in his debut season, 14 in 2013, then 22 in the 2014 season when the Centurions won the Championship League Leaders’ Shield and defeated Featherstone Rovers 36-12 in the grand final at Headingley.

Arguably his most impressive personal campaign was in 2015 when he scored 30 tries in a free-scoring side that missed out on promotion in the Middle Eighths. But the dream of promotion to Super League was finally realised in 2016.

In 2017 Gregg’s fantastic solo try against Salford in the final game of the regular season ensured the Centurions finished one place off the bottom of Super League in their first season in the topflight.

Gathering a loose ball deep inside his own half he set off on an elusive run, cleverly chipping over the defence and gathering at speed before burning away from the cover for a brilliant score.

Sadly, the season ended in disappointment with Leigh relegated after being defeated in the Million Pound Game by Catalans and with the club regrouping in the Championship Gregg moved on for one season at Bradford Bulls.

He returned as John Duffy made him a key signing ahead of the 2019 season, scoring 17 tries as the Centurions reached the play-offs, taking his tally for his adopted hometown club past the century mark.

His Leigh career ended after the Covid-interrupted 2020 season brought all rugby league outside the elite level to an abrupt close.

Gregg fulfilled his personal ambition by returning to Whitehaven in 2021, then moved to Rochdale in 2022, to Oldham last season and is now back at Hornets, playing alongside his long-term friend and fellow Leigh legend Martyn Ridyard.

With 111 tries for Leigh Gregg is one of only 11 players to score over 100 tries for the club and proudly stands tenth in the list alongside some famous names:

MOST TRIES FOR LEIGH (100 AND OVER)

189         Mick Martyn

154         Ryan Brierley

152         John Woods

149         Bill Kindon

141         Des Drummond

132         Neil Turley

128         Joe Walsh

114         Rod Tickle

112         Gordon Lewis

111         Gregg McNally

100         David Ingram

Gregg’s overall career statistics are hugely impressive, and he is closing in on the notable milestone of 200 career tries.

He has scored 196 tries in 311 games and kicked 171 goals and four drop goals for good measure, a total of 1,130 points.

He made his international debut for Ireland in 2010 and has played 12 times in the emerald green.

Gregg’s career record is as follows:

Team                                     Games  Tries      Goals     DG          Points

Leigh Leopards                    176         111         21           0              486

Whitehaven                            50           36         82           3              311

Oldham                                   28           15         46           1              153

Rochdale Hornets                 23            20           2           0              84

Bradford Bulls                       13             5            0           0              20

Barrow Raiders                       8              3           5           0              22

Huddersfield Giants               1              0           6           0              12

Club Total                            299         190         162         4              1,088

Ireland                                  12           6              9              0              42

Grand Total                         311         196       171         4              1,130

Everyone at Leigh Leopards wishes Gregg well in his testimonial year and urges all supporters to attend the game on Sunday in tribute.

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