Leigh “very supportive” of Keanan Brand entering Love Island

Keanan Brand Leigh Leopards SWpix Credit: Alamy
Keanan Brand Leigh Leopards SWpix Credit: Alamy

Keanan Brand has the full support of his rugby club Leigh Leopards upon going on hit reality TV show Love Island, according to his coach Adrian Lam.

The 24-year-old has gone on the popular ITV show whilst he recovers from a groin injury that saw him have a double hernia operation following his World Cup campaign with Ireland last autumn.

Lam says Brand will be welcomed back to the Leigh club with open arms after his time in the villa.

Lam said: “When it first happened he approached me about it, so I talked to Derek (Beaumont, club owner) and we were very supportive about him doing that.

“Everyone within the squad is part of our family. We want to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity within their life, whether it is through rugby league or other avenues.

“Since that moment, the club has got right behind him and nothing has changed. We will support him through this process. When he comes out (of the villa), we will give him the time to get right and stay part of the group.”

Keanan Brand has the support of Leigh Leopards and the town

Lam insists his Ireland World Cup representative has the full support of the Lancashire town.

Lam said: “He had that operation just because he needed it. He hasn’t been a part of the group training that much because of his groin.

“He would probably be in consideration over the next two or three weeks if he was training everyday anyway. We took all of that into consideration.

“A decision was made on the benefit of supporting the player. We’re right behind him, the town is right behind him and everyone is happy for him. We will watch him and have a bit of fun with it.”

Brand has been given the number 20 shirt by the Leopards for their first season back in Super League.

Many of his team-mates are watching Brand on the show daily, with Lam even tuning in to the popular show, which is watched by millions every night.

Lam added: “He’s a funny guy and a very popular member of the squad. I think it is an opportunity for us to try and build it into part of our week. There are some funny scenes that we were looking at and laughing at as a group.”

Leigh will try to get their first win of the season on Friday night at Hull KR.

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