Leigh Centurions Statement – Betfred Championship Shield Final

Leigh Centurions have issued the following statement:

Further to the press statement issued by the Rugby Football League this evening regarding the forthcoming Betfred Championship Shield Final against Featherstone Rovers at the LD Nutrition Stadium (Sunday, 3pm):

RFL Statement: Featherstone Rovers v Leigh Centurions

The statement reads: “In response to a request by Leigh Centurions and Featherstone Rovers, and after consultation with the other Championship and League One clubs, the Rugby Football League has agreed to grant a dispensation to both clubs to register, on loan, additional players ahead of Sunday’s Championship Shield Final.

“After taking into account all relevant factors, the Board of the Rugby Football League believes that there are exceptional circumstances that justify this dispensation.

“This position was unanimously supported by the Championship and League One clubs at a meeting today.

“The dispensation will be limited to current Academy players who have not played at First Team Level.”

Leigh Centurions would like to thank the Rugby Football League and the Betfred Championship and League One clubs for recognising the current situations that both ourselves and Featherstone Rovers find themselves in with unprecedented injury lists.

It is indicative of the unique family values of the great game of Rugby League that member clubs have allowed us both to ensure the final will be played with full squads.

We would like to place on record our thanks to the Rugby Football League and all the clubs and, following on from that, to the three Super League clubs, Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Castleford Tigers that have loaned our Club players for the game.

We are now very much looking forward to the final on Sunday against our friends from Featherstone Rovers and look forward to a great occasion and great game of Rugby League.

We sincerely hope that supporters from both clubs and from the wider Rugby League community will enjoy the occasion.

Leigh Centurions head coach Kieron Purtill and his assistant Paul Anderson have worked tirelessly to acquire the services of the following players for the final on loan:

From Wigan Warriors: Centre or wing Sam Grant, 19, halfback James Barran, 19, prop Liam Byrne, 19 and prop Ben Kilner, 19.

From St Helens: Second row Chris Follin, 19 and fullback or wing Kevin Brown, 19.

From Castleford Tigers: hooker Jacques O’Neill, 19.

Kieron Purtill said: “I’d like to thank Wigan Warriors, St Helens and Castleford Tigers for their tremendous assistance to our Club at a time of need.

“It is a testament to the work that they and other Super League clubs do with junior players that they produce so many quality Rugby League players.

“As a Club we have a very good relationship with Wigan, St Helens and Castleford among many others and down the line we would like to repay the gratitude we feel.

“I have spoken to each of the seven players and each one is excited to be part of the preparation for playing in a big game on Sunday and earning a Heritage Number for a great Rugby League club in Leigh Centurions. They can’t wait to get involved.

“Not many players can say that they made their senior debut in a cup final but each of the lads will be able to re-count this to their grand children in 50 years’ time and hopefully for each of them it will be the start of a successful and enjoyable senior playing career.

“We are all looking forward to the final and a great game against Featherstone Rovers.”

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