LEIGH Centurions’ game against Salford City Reds on December 30 will definitely go ahead!
That is the message from Centurions coach Paul Rowley after he spoke with his City Reds rivals, coach Phil Veivers and football manager, Steve Simms.
“Both are 100 per cent adamant that they will be good to go for the game,” said Rowley. “I know that Salford have their problems and there is a lot of speculation about its future, but both Phil and Steve say that is something that is being resolved and they will have their strongest team out for the Christmas game.
“That suits me. Nobody wants to see a club struggle and we certainly don’t want to see Salford fall by the wayside so that is good news.”
Leigh play Salford and then the following weekend they take on Wigan Warriors and Rowley is already declaring that Leigh will be placing their strongest selection into these warm up games.
“I think it’s vitally important that we get a good work out in these games for all our players who will be the backbone of the first team,” he added. “I have spoken with Salford and Wigan’s Shaun Wane and we are agreed that it will be the strongest teams we have available.”
Rowley has also finalised his team squad numbers for the coming campaign and he says that the numbers are allocated as he sees fit, but form will dictates who gets selected on match days.
“My squad numbering is not drawn out of the hat,” he said. “I realise some players want certain numbers and of course there is a lot of play on who wears what for the season. But it wouldn’t matter to me if I had numbers from 17 to 62, if those players were playing best, then they would get selected. However I have looked to reward last season’s performances, consistency and loyalty with some of the lower numbers which the players generally want to have.”
The players will be given a few days off after training this coming Saturday but be back in for the 27th ready to prepare for that Salford games.
Leigh were delighted to pick up an award for having the best pitch in Rugby League at York last week, when the efforts of senior grounds man Keith Porter were recognised as the top accolade landed with the LSV playing surface.
“It further highlights why we should be in super league,” said Rowley. “Keith has done a magnificent job in preparing the surface as he has, and it has certainly been a contributory factor in our ability to play a wide running style that is attractive to watch.
“It’s a style that we hope enhances our appeal to the fans and one that should push us for Super League inclusion. We have a pitch that is the best in the game and it deserves to be staging the best matches.
“Those games are in Super League and we as a team want to be part of that set up. We have a unique relationship with the stadium who support us in so many ways and we feel that combination can go a long way to pushing our application for Super League membership in 2014.”
Leigh Centurions squad numbers 2013: 1 Greg McNally; 2 Steve Maden; 3 Stuart Littler; 4 Matt Garner; 5 Jonathan Pownall; 6 Martyn Ridyard; 7 Ryan Brierley; 8 Sam Hopkins; 9 Bob Beswick; 10 Rob Parker; 11 Simon Finnigan; 12 Tommy Goulden; 13 Martin Aspinwall; 14 Sean Penkywicz; 15 Andy Thornley; 16 Craig Briscoe; 17 Thomas Coyle; 18 Anthony Nicholson; 19 Michael Ostick; 20 James Taylor; 21 Ryan Duffy; 22 Adam Higson. `