Shield win “just the start” for ambitious Leigh

Ryan Brierley after Leigh won the Kingstone Press Championship Leaders Shield. Photo: Brian King.

Ryan Brierley after Leigh won the Kingstone Press Championship Leaders Shield. Photo: Brian King.

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Leigh’s head of rugby Derek Beaumont says winning the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield is just the beginning of exciting times at the club.

Centurions beat Featherstone on Friday to secure top spot with three games of the league season remaining. And while focus now turns to the play-offs, Beaumont has a longer term vision of what the club can achieve.

“Winning a trophy is the reward for some very hard work by a lot of people at this club,” said Beaumont. “It’s not just about the players who were involved on Friday it’s those who have played all season and contributed along the way.

“It was a big week for coach Paul Rowley deciding what his team would be and he had some tough decisions to make in terms of selection. But he was confident that the team could do a job and beat Featherstone which is what happened.”

Leigh have been on top of the Championship from the first weekend of the season, losing just once at Doncaster. “The manner in which we have won the league is so impressive,” said Beaumont. “We have not just edged it - we have dominated this division. I am really proud and pleased and it bodes well for the future.”

Beaumont suggested Leigh would make some changes to the team in the final three league games of the season, with recent signings Michael Platt and Jonny Walker likely to make their debuts.

“As well as the new signings, we have players in the reserves like Jamie Tracey who will come in ahead of the play-offs which is a different competition altogether. The job’s done now so we can look at some different things and get ready for a new challenge. All year we have said that we respect everyone and fear no-one.

“We knew what we wanted to do at the start of the season and how we were going to do it. We know what we are going to do next season and the result at the end of it. But ultimately the one thing that is guaranteed is that Leigh will get back into Super League.”