Centurions fired up for new season

Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley
Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley

Leigh coach Paul Rowley and head of rugby Derek Beaumont have spoken of the excitement in the camp after the 2015 fixtures were released.

Centurions face former Super League opposition in each of their first two home fixtures of the 2015 Kingstone Press Championship campaign.

The reigning Championship League Leaders and Grand Final winners have the mouth-watering prospect of Bradford Bulls opening up the new season at LSV on Sunday, February 15.

Two weeks later London Broncos, who were also relegated from Super League are the visitors to LSV.

Centurions have three away games in their first five fixtures, all against sides who finished in the leading positions in last season’s Championship. After the trip to The Shay to play Halifax, Rowley’s side are next on their travels to Doncaster, the scene of their only Championship defeat in 2014. In round 5 the Centurions visit Featherstone Rovers, the grand final runners-up.

The Round 14 summer Bash fixtures at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool have still to be confirmed.

The Centurions close their regular season after Round 23 when Doncaster visit LSV at the end of July.

The competition then splits with the top four teams in the Championship playing a middle eight competition for the right to play in Super League in 2016.

Rowley said: “I have already labelled the Championship the ‘league of death.’ Every fixture and every game matters and the intensity has risen incredibly from last season.

“As a club we are looking forward to the challenge and we will be prepared to meet every test full-on. We have respect for all the teams in the Championship but no fear. We don’t mind when we face them, in what order, at what time. We’ll take on anyone, at any time, on any date and any ground.

“We have laid out our preparations for the campaign and when we re-group as a team in early November we will be preparing with great intensity and determination for the challenges ahead. The fixtures prove what an exciting competition we will be competing in next season and we can’t wait to get started.

“I’m sure all our supporters and sponsors will be equally as excited as the players and the coaching staff and be looking forward to the season as much as we are.”

Leigh Centurions head of rugby Beaumont said: “These are very exciting times and I am particularly pleased we will get to pit our wits against the Super League sides early in the piece.

“As I looked through our schedule I felt both excited and nervous as there are no hiding places and no respites in this league. It is tough from top to bottom. It is good, as we feel challenged as a group and there is no doubt after the first five rounds we will have a good idea of how far we have come.

“The RFL should be championed for the vision they had for the game and the Super League club chairman should also be congratulated for buying into a process that, I believe, has reinvented the game and attracted old and new supporters.

“Our goal this season is to finish in the top four where we can gather our thoughts and re- group ready for the challenge that brings. I am really looking forward to kicking that off at our home against Bradford Bulls in front of a big and vociferous crowd.”