Centurions bang drum for Championship opener

Leigh players and staff with Council officials and guests at the Believe in Leigh launch event
Leigh players and staff with Council officials and guests at the Believe in Leigh launch event

LEIGH are pulling out all the stops to attract a bumper crowd to their opening Kingstone Press Championship game of the season against Bradford Bulls on Sunday.

Banner adverts promoting the game are all over town while images of Leigh players past and present have been projected onto Leigh Library in the run-up to the game as part of Wigan Council’s Believe in Leigh campaign.

The much anticipated game pits the current Kingstone Press Championship Champions against one of the teams relegated from Super League last year.

Bradford are most bookies’ favourites to return to the top flight while Centurions are highly fancied too after their incredible 2014 season which saw them lost just once in the league.

Leigh coach Paul Rowley believes the pressure is on Bradford which suits him just fine.

“It should be a good game between two good sides with great fans,” he said.

“Bradford will be the club everyone in the Championship wants to beat and the pressure is on them to start well. But for us they’re just next on the list. We are a confident team and I’m happy with our preseason.”

Leigh chairman Michael Norris says he can’t wait for the new season to begin.

He said: “After many years of off-field matters being more important than on-field performance, we approach this season with every match mattering as positions in the league table are paramount.

“It has been termed a New Era for Rugby League and as a club we wholeheartedly support the RFL’s initiative.

“It is apt that the two teams from outside Super League who have garnered most closed season coverage should meet in the opening fixture as Bradford Bulls are in town to face the Centurions. Bradford are probably the biggest name ever to appear in the Championship in the summer era and are rebuilding after suffering financial challenges over recent years.

“The new structure means that every single match has a degree of jeopardy in it. At the Centurions we have long campaigned for the re-introduction of promotion and the exciting and innovative way that the RFL have restructured has given us the opportunity we have long sought.”