JOHN Duffy and Leigh Centurions have parted company - and Garreth Carvell has left too.

Head coach Duffy's last game in charge was the 40-16 loss at Hull KR on Sunday.

The club have confirmed that Duffy and head of rugby Carvell are no longer in position and that Kurt Haggerty will take on the head coach's role on a caretaker basis.

Duffy has said that he is gutted his time is up, while owner Derek Beaumont paid a glowing tribute to all the former Scotland international had done for Leigh as a player and coach including during recent very difficult circumstances.

A club statement reads: "Leigh Centurions can confirm that head coach John Duffy will leave the club with immediate effect by mutual agreement.

"Assistant coach Kurt Haggerty will take over the head coaching role in the short term, supported by the rest of the coaching staff while applications for the post on a permanent basis are considered."

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said: “I would like to thank John for his dedication, commitment and outstanding work ethic he has shown during his time with the club. It has been a really difficult time as he massively cares about the club, the fans, the town of Leigh and me and my wife personally. 

“He took on the role when the club was at a low point following the circumstances of 2018. He vowed to get me back interested and he did. He massively over-achieved with a small budget, building a group that worked really hard for him, making the play-offs.

"We built on that the following year, and he had an unbeaten start to the league campaign, winning five from five and narrowly lost in the last game of that season, away to Hull KR in the last second in the Challenge Cup. He then endured the remainder of the season unable to operate as a coach. 

“With many of those players leaving and replaced with a team to go strong in the Championship and gain promotion, he saw the opportune moment of promotion bestowed upon the club from its boardroom’s application, something he acknowledged the significant effort that had been made to make that happen. 

“John jumped at it with two hands, despite knowing there was no time to recruit differently and that all other teams had already finished their recruitment. I have seen in detail the meticulous effort that he has made, and it saddens me to have to make these comments. 

“In the end John wants the same as me, the best for the club, not himself and therefore it wasn’t a difficult conversation that we had. Something needed to change, and we both recognised that. 

“I hope the fans can respect the difficult task John faced and made a fist of for them and, also, remember his fine contribution as a player. He is Leigh through and through and can certainly hold his head high in my box anytime he feels like it.

"As a sport we talk of mental health but perhaps we need to look at some of the things we do as a sport and the impact that has on people’s mental health.”

Duffy was appointed Leigh Centurions head coach in November 2018 after previous coaching appointments at Swinton Lions and Featherstone Rovers and a long spell as Scotland co-coach alongside Chris Chester.

He steered the Centurions into the Betfred Championship play-offs in 2019, then oversaw the switch to a full-time playing operation before the 2020 season was terminated due to the pandemic, before the club’s elevation to the Betfred Super League in December 2020 after a successful bid process. 

Duffy played 202 games for Leigh in three separate spells between 2001 and 2012 in a notable playing career that saw him also play for Warrington, Salford, Chorley, Whitehaven and Widnes as well as representing Scotland.

He played a key role as a member of the Leigh side that won promotion to Super League in 2004 and he also starred in Leigh's National League Cup Final winning teams of 2004 and 2011.

Duffy said: “I am gutted that my time is up. I had a good chat with Derek and we agreed that something needed to change.

"We have not got the results we needed and now it is time for someone else to step in and hopefully get the first win and then some more.

“It’s a tough one for me as I love the Club and the fans but I realise there have to be changes and that’s the way it goes.

"I started my coaching job at Leigh with nothing and we got to Super League. I always knew it was going to be a tough challenge and I’d like to wish the players all the best for the season.

“The fans have been great for me. I know they weren’t allowed to be inside the grounds for a while but when they can they follow us around everywhere. I’d like to thank Derek Beaumont, Mike Latham for all the help and support they have given me and everyone who has helped me over the last few years.   

“There are not many who can say that they coached the club they loved and I am grateful I was given the opportunity.”

Carvell has also left the club with immediate effect by mutual agreement.

He joined the club in January in a wide-ranging role, supporting head coach John Duffy and his coaching and support staff and was responsible for all aspects of player welfare, recruitment, discipline and RFL issues and contributed to the Club’s application for an academy licence.

After enjoying an outstanding playing career including nearly 300 Super League games and international recognition with Great Britain and Wales, he was appointed player welfare officer, later head of youth and in an assistant coach’s role at Salford Red Devils before re-launching and heading the Rugby League Players Association in January 2018 with backing from the GMB Union.

Beaumont said: “I would like to thank Garreth for his contribution to the club. It has been a really difficult time for us all as we battle to find our feet in Super League and come to terms with the decision regarding the academy.

“Garreth worked hard on that and had a good vision for building the future of our club, something we have been denied for the foreseeable future.

"The personal pressure on his family life with the travelling and additional pressures that creates saw us reach an amiable agreement for him to part company with the club. I hope he remains within the game of rugby league as he certainly has value to add to it and I wish him well in his future.”

Meanwhile, Leigh seem set to be facing a battle to hold on to some of their players at the season’s end.

Speaking after the depleted side’s eighth defeat in a row since the season’s start, Duffy told how he was not surprised by speculation linking several Leigh Centurions players with end of season moves.

Despite the collective poor form, centre Iain Thornley and injured forward Nathan Mason are reportedly targets for Wigan Warriors.

“Loads of clubs will be into different players of ours,” said Duffy. “We have some great players across the squad.

“It is that time of the year and it happens every year. We have got to crack on as professionals and see what happens.”

Leigh are the only side without a top flight win but remain just two points behind Salford.

But such a precarious position makes Centurions’ future recruitment plans that much tougher, unsure which division they will find themselves in for 2022.

There is money to strengthen should the right quality players become available. But while there has been obvious links with returning England international George Williams, the Canberra Raider looks set to return to Wigan or join Warrington.

However, the squad is in need of a boost. They only had 16 players to train 24 hours before last Sunday’s 40-16 defeat at Hull KR.

Leigh will name yet another half back combination for the visit to Belle Vue as Ben Reynolds serves a one-match ban.

The one-time Trinity playmaker received a Grade B tripping charge for a first half incident at Hull KR.

Leigh are still without Australian Blake Wallace. The former Toronto Wolfpack man hasn’t played since April 11 when forced out of his team’s Challenge Cup defeat by Huddersfield with concussion.