2nd February 2018, 19:05 | championship

Betfred Championship Round 1 Preview

Betfred Championship Round 1 Preview

Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack take centre stage as the new Betfred Championship season kicks off this weekend.

The pair are tipped to go toe-to-toe for Championship glory and it’s a mouthwatering tie to kick off the season.

Leigh, relegated from Super League last October via the Million Pound Game, are aiming for an immediate return and have added 19 new faces to their roster for 2018, including former Wolfpack captain Craig Hall.

Toronto meanwhile, led by former Leigh coach Paul Rowley, have brought in three men from the Centrurions who are all set to face their old side on Sunday.

Cory Paterson, Sam Hopkins and Adam Higson are all on board, alongside the winter’s biggest capture, Ashton Sims.

Leigh vice-captain Peter Matautia is looking forward to his debut, saying: “So I’ve heard, there’s a big rivalry between the two clubs but I’m just taking it as another game.”

Toronto coach Rowley commented: “They’re physically very fit and have a very good squad, arguably a stronger squad than they had last year.

“We understand what we’re up against and it will be a tough game for us but we’ll go with our best foot forward and see what happens.”

The game kicks off at 3pm at the Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

Sunday’s other Championship games include a West Yorkshire derby between Featherstone Rovers and Halifax whilst newly-promoted Barrow Raiders travel to the capital to face London Broncos.

The season kicks off on Friday night as Dewsbury Rams entertain Sheffield Eagles at 7:45pm, whilst the fancied Toulouse Olympique take on Swinton Lions in the South of France (3pm CET).

Rochdale Hornets v Batley Bulldogs is postponed.