Leigh head of rugby Derek Beaumont sees Bradford as the major threat to Leigh’s Championship challenge next year.
The Bulls were denied a return to Super League by Wakefield in the Million Pound game but Beaumont tips james Lowes’ team to be strong again next season.
Writing in his exclusive Leigh Observer column, Beaumont said he expects the Championship to be a much tougher competition in 2016.
Beaumont said: “I agree completely with Steve Ferres, the managing director at Bradford, when he says that the Championship will be much tougher next season.
“Although I have to doubt whether, as he says, Bradford could struggle to make the top four.”
Leigh and Bradford enjoyed some close encounters last term. In the regular league season, Leigh won at home in the league but lost in the play-offs. And at Odsal in the league, it ended 36-36.
“Bradford are a very strong side and have some top quality players,” Beaumont continued. “None more so perhaps than Lee Gaskell, who was unfortunate most of the year with injuries.
“They have a lot of grunt and I particularly liked the hard running and work of Dale Ferguson, which he continued into the European Championship for Wales in a game I watched against Scotland.
“I still believe they will present our toughest challenge and I hope their loyal army of fans continue to stick by them, travelling around the Championships clubs and providing much-needed revenue.
“They bring a good atmosphere with their drum and party style, and I actually enjoy their banter when they give me some stick – it’s what the game’s about.”