AS interim head coach of Leigh Centurions, Kurt Haggerty will call on the skills he first crafted at Pilkington Recs.

The 32-year-old from Haresfinch, St Helens, has stepped into the breach following the departure of his boss John Duffy, eight games into the club's return to Super League without a win to show for the efforts so far.

His first task is to attempt to rejuvenate a depleted squad while preparing and picking a side to tackle improving Wakefield Trinity at Belle Vue on Sunday – seven days after Duffy's side continued the habit of second-half fade aways in a 40-16 loss at Hull KR.

He had been assistant to his former Leigh teammate Duffy since January.

'Haggy', who also had playing spells at Widnes Vikings, Barrow Raiders, Blackpool Panthers and most recently Bradford Bulls, hung up his boots at the age of 27 to become assistant to his former Leigh boss Paul Rowley as Toronto Wolfpack got started in 2016.

St Helens Star:

Kurt Haggerty playing for Widnes Vikings in 2012. Picture: Dave Gillespie

But the back rower, the son of Saints forward legend Roy Haggerty, had first started to cut his cloth as a coach in the amateur game in his early 20s.

And he carved out his reputation by leading Pilkington Recs to three consecutive promotions to the National Conference top flight.

> READ: Kurt Haggerty's first press conference as Leigh interim head coach

He also steered Recs to their first triumph over professional opposition when his side dumped League One outfit London Skolars out of the Challenge Cup in 2016.

When Haggerty, a two-cap Ireland international, accepted the assistant coach's position at Leigh five months ago he described a 'special feel' about a club he cared for greatly.

St Helens Star:

Kurt Haggerty on the charge for Ireland against Fiji during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Picture:

“Leigh is a club that I always seem drawn to," he said.

"I played here as a 19-year-old kid and came back in 2014-15 and enjoyed some good times here.

St Helens Star: Kurt Haggerty's try on debut

Kurt Haggerty scoring a try for Leigh against Whitehaven in 2009 and, below, back in Leigh colours for a second spell in 2014

St Helens Star:

“There’s a special feel to Leigh and I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead as we look to cement our place in Super League.”

And at the time Duffy highlighted why Haggerty was the right man to work alongside him.

“Kurt knows the club inside out and has been on a pathway in his coaching career through the amateur and professional ranks," he said.

“He is very intelligent, diligent and cares for the club and the people involved in it.

“He is a great addition for us as we look forward to the season ahead.

"Kurt took the decision to retire early as a player to become a coach and he has already had a great grounding with his long association at Toronto and his time in the community game.

“Kurt was a clever footballer, a brilliant player in my opinion, who was ahead of the coaching at the time with the way he played the game. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

But now Haggerty is the man tasked with attempting to turn things around - for the short term at least.