It is official, the Leigh Centurions will return to the Betfred Super League in 2021 to replace the Toronto Wolfpack.
The last time they were in Super League was 2017. In that year, they were relegated to the Championship, after they lost 10-26 against the Catalan Dragons in the 2017 Million Pound Game.
12th Super League team is the Leigh Centurions
The selection panel was impressed by the Centurions’ bid to get back into Super League. This is according to Aaron Bower of The Guardian. This is what Super League chairman Robert Elstone said about Leigh.
“The independent panel was impressed by Centurions’ application, which scored highly on all criteria and it is a credit to everyone at the club that they were able to produce such a comprehensive submission in such a demanding timeframe,” the Super League chairman, Robert Elstone, said.
These reasons include producing top-class players, a great stadium, and a good fan base. The fan base probably played a big role in The Leigh Centurions being part of Super League. They have one of the highest attendances in the Championship which was 6,521 last year according to John Davidson of The I. Lastly, they were one of only three teams to remain undefeated in the 2020 Championship season. This was before the season was cancelled.
How can Leigh Centurions stay in Super League?
The Leigh Centurions do not have a good history of remaining in the Super League. They made two stints in 2005 and 2017. However, in both years the Centurions were relegated to the Championship the following season. This is what Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont said in Davidson’s article:
“The biggest challenge we have set ourselves is that 2022 is Super League for Leigh. And that’s just got a whole lot tougher because to do that we’ve got to stay in Super League, something we’ve not managed twice before.”
This challenge will be made even harder as the 12th Super League team will get less central distribution money than the other 11 Super League teams according to Mike Meehall Wood of Forbes. Commiserations should also be given to the other teams that tried to get into Super League next year. This includes the London Broncos, Toulouse Olympique XIII, Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, and York City Knights.
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) December 14, 2020
A big congratulations should be given to the Leigh Centurions. They will make their third stint in Super League next year, and Last Word on Rugby will follow their progress in the 2021 season.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images