LEIGH’S head of rugby Derek Beaumont says he is more confident than ever that they can achieve Super League.
The Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield winners have made some major signings ahead of the new campaign and on Sunday play their first friendly of the year against Wigan Warriors.
And writing in his exclusive Leigh Observer column, Beaumont has stated that reaching Super League is the club’s top priority.
“There is no doubting our intentions this year,” said Beaumont.
“It would be a little naive to think we could assemble the squad we have and try to divert the pressure by claiming Super League wasn’t our goal.
“It clearly is our objective and ultimately always was, but it was a plan and I guess in many respects we are now operating a decent Super League side in the Championship.
“All eyes will be on us and everyone will be aiming to claim our scalp. The question is will anyone be able to pull that off?
“I have always been one to speak my mind and face a challenge, and very often confidence can be misunderstood as arrogance. I believe the best teams and the best individuals exude confidence and are prepared to state what they are going to do, almost to apply pressure on themselves to back it up.”
Beaumont and coach Paul Rowley have worked hard to attract Super League and NRL talent for the new campaign. Rangi Chase, Cory Paterson, Reni Matuai and Harrison Hansen have all moved to Leigh from Salford while Dayne Weston has arrived from Melbourne Storm. Then there’s the former Australian international Willie Tonga who has joined from Catalan Dragons.
Beaumont added: “I know the old saying, nothing is guaranteed in sport, as there are too many outside influences. So many will perhaps say I am a little bold when I state 2016 will be a year where we again break records we have previously set in the last two years.
“I also think the six tries in a game by one player looks vulnerable, based on what I have seen so far. However, the achievement I believe is possible is to go through the comp without defeat home and away in the regular season.
“While this isn’t a goal we have set and Paul Rowley will rotate his squad, we only have a small squad and it is strong in all quarters so I don’t really think it weakens by rotation. I will also confidently state that I do not think Leigh will be involved in the Million Pound Game. I believe I will be watching two Super League sides contest that fixture with the boys, somewhere warm, as a reward of achieving our goal.”