LSV backing Leigh’s top flight ambitions

Leigh Centurions are pushing for a Super League return. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Leigh Centurions are pushing for a Super League return. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
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Leigh Sports Village have hailed the success of Centurions after a memorable year.

Paul Rowley’s side won the Kingstone Press Championship Leaders Shield for a second year running and now go into the Super 8 Qualifiers with a chance of playing in the Super League for the first time since Leigh Sports Village was built.

“For Leigh Centurions to go 22 months unbeaten at Leigh Sports Village is an absolutely fantastic achievement, and we’re sure they’ll take a lot of confidence from that incredible home form into the Super 8s,” said Leigh Sports Village Chief Executive Simon Toon. “What you really notice is the buzz around Leigh: the players, supporters and everyone connected with LSV are so excited about what this unique squad might be able to achieve.”

The leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith, also paid tribute to Leigh Centurions’ success. “They’ve played such exciting rugby this season, and fully merit their position at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship,” he said. “And what’s really noticeable is that Leigh Sports Village is truly geared up for the next level – the stadium, pitch and hospitality facilities are already the envy of many Super League clubs.”

Centurions will play Hull Kingston Rovers (August 8), Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (August 22), Sheffield Eagles (September 6) and Bradford Bulls (September 20) at LSV in the Super 8s.

And it’s certainly set to be an exciting few months at Leigh Sports Village as both Manchester United U21s and Blackburn Rovers U21s start their home campaigns in the Barclays U21 Premier League at the stadium. All these matches are free, with Blackburn kicking off against Derby County on August 10, and Manchester United taking on Everton on September 21. Some of the brightest young talent in the football world has played at LSV over the past few seasons – as well as established stars such as Victor Valdes and Ander Herrera.

“The attendances have been really good, and we had memorable games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton last season,” said United U21 star Liam Grimshaw. “I’ve really enjoyed playing at Leigh Sports Village.”

“And don’t forget, Leigh Sports Village is also hosting the England vs France rugby league international on October 24,” said Mr Toon. “This is another game we’re all very much looking forward to – it’s not a friendly to prepare for the series against New Zealand: England have told us they are treating it as a full international. They’ll be playing for the inaugural Paul Barrière shield, which will be an annual competition, and it’s the first chance to see England since the Four Nations in Australia last year.

“One of the aims of Leigh Sports Village is to bring these high level events to the people of Leigh, as we also did last year with the sell-out Elton John concert. It feels like a good moment in the history of Leigh. All the partners at Leigh Sports Village are really positive about the many varied activities we now offer here.”