Leigh Centurions are expecting a bumper crowd at Leigh Sports Village this Sunday (kick off 3pm) as they take on double trophy winners, Wigan Warriors in the first of their pre-season warm up games.
Wigan arrive with the Super League and Challenge Cup Trophies tucked under their belts at the end of a remarkable 2013 season.
But it must not be forgotten that Leigh also landed the Championship equivalent of the top cup trophy when lifting the Northern Rail Cup with a thrilling win last July.
Both teams have made changes to their playing personnel since then, with the much reported transfer of Sam Tomkins to New Zealand Warriors opening new opportunities for some of the Wigan youngsters in the Warriors camp, while at the same time removing arguably the most potent attacking player in the British game.
Wigan fans will be eager to see how his loss will be met, while the Leigh fans will no doubt view his absence an opportunity for the Centurions to post a morale boosting win ahead of the new campaign.
Leigh have strengthened their squad considerably, and coach Paul Rowley is determined to give his players the stiffest of test through playing as many of his front line squad as are available.
pretty much all of them including the New Year’s Day acquisition Jake Emmett!
“I have spoken with Wigan on a number of occasions and they are determined to use this as a big hit out for them just a few days after getting back from their training camp in America.” said Rowley. “Wigan play their first Super League game against Huddersfield on Friday February 7, and then head to Australia, so opportunities to hone themselves for the World Cup Challenge are few.”