HALIFAX coach Richard Marshall expects a tough game when his side take on Leigh.
The former Centurions prop took over at the Shay during the close season after several years on the coaching staff at Warrington Wolves.
As a player he packed down with Leigh boss Paul Rowley but any friendships will go on hold when the whistle blows at 3pm.
“They’re a team that likes to play close to the line and play with a lot of aggression, but I think you can say that about a lot of teams,” Marshall said.
“There is going to be rivalry because they’ve been two of the best clubs in the Championship over the last few years. As long as that rivalry is respectful between two great clubs, it’s good for the game.
“I hope it’s an intense game, an aggressive game and that’s the way we’re preparing for it. We’ll play hard but fair.”
Marshall says the fact that Leigh are full-time in 2015 gives them a huge advantage.
“That kind of money creates a gulf between teams, I’d be lying if I said any different,” said Marshall.
“I think Paul’s got something like 30 full time players; we’ve got a squad of 24.
“From a coaching perspective, the difference in the amount of contact time you have with the players, and the sessions and analysis it allows you to do, is massive over the course of a season.
“But in a one off game, which is what we are treating this as, there is no reason why we cannot turn them over if we perform on the day.”