Leigh Centurions return to Betfred Super League action on Thursday, July 1 when they take on Leeds Rhinos at Emerald Headingley, kick-off 7.45pm.
Without a win this season, Leigh interim head coach Kurt Haggerty will be hoping his side can get off the mark against last season’s Challenge Cup winners.
It’s the second time that Centurions have played at Headingley this season – on the opening night of the season they were narrowly beaten by Wigan Warriors in a game played behind closed doors.
In their last outing, Leigh were beaten 44-18 by Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Already badly affected by injuries, Leigh lost Tyrone McCarthy in the early exchanges with a head knock. Nathan Peats, who missed the game so he could play for the All Stars against England on Friday, is expected to return for the Centurions.
Keanan Brand, Adam Sidlow and Alex Gerrard are in line for a recall after recovering from long-term injuries. But both Tyrone McCarthy and Ben Reynolds are unavailable after suffering knocks at Warrington last Thursday.
A Covid outbreak meant Leeds had to postpone two Super League games but they returned from a break of over a month in winning style, defeating Salford Red Devils 38-12 at the AJ Bell Stadium. Richie Myler and Jack Broadbent scored two tries each but it was a win that came at a cost with Konrad Hurrell and Luke Gale both suffering injuries. Gale has since been banned for two games so will be missing on Thursday.
Leigh last met Leeds in a 2018 Challenge Cup tie played at Featherstone’s home ground because Headingley was unavailable. The Rhinos were 52-22 winners in a game which saw two Leigh players – Pete Mata’utia and Matty Dawson Jones receive red cards.
Current Centurions skipper Liam Hood started his pro career with Leeds while Nathaniel Peteru and Jordan Thompson have also played for the Rhinos. Conversely, Leeds forward Bodene Thompson is a former Centurion.
How to follow the game
Leeds v Leigh will be available to view for season ticket holders of both clubs on OurLeague. There will also be live match coverage on our social media platforms with the full match and highlights available on LCTV a few days later.
The game will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester with Trevor Hunt and guest summariser, Neil Turley.
You have to go back to February 1988 for Leigh’s last win over Leeds which came in the old Stones Bitter Championship. Leigh enjoyed an 18-6 success that day at Hilton Park.
Leeds have won 16 of the last 17 meetings between the clubs since then, with the sides also battling out a 12-12 draw at Hilton Park on November 22, 1992.
Leeds have also won their last 12 home meetings with Leigh (including 2018’s Challenge Cup fixture at Featherstone). They last tasted Headingley defeat against Leigh in the Slalom Lager Championship, 24-18, on April 3, 1984.
The most recent Super League meeting between the teams was at Headingley in 2017 when Leigh went down 22-14 result.
Leigh’s Ryan Brierley needs two tries to reach 200 for his career.
- 150 for Leigh Centurions (2012-2016, 2019 (loan), 2021)
- 3 for Hull Kingston Rovers (2020)
- 26 for Toronto Wolfpack (2017-2019)
- 15 for Huddersfield Giants (2016-2017)
- 4 for Scotland (2016, 2018-2019)
Brierley also needs two tries to go level with John Woods (152) in second place on the Club’s all-time try scorer list. Mick Martyn tops the list with 189 tries and recently Brierley overtook Bill Kindon (149) to go outright third.
Leigh Centurions interim head coach Kurt Haggerty:
“It is good to get a few middles back for this game. I thought there were a lot of positives to take from our game at Warrington last week, especially on our edges.
“Leeds are a team that can certainly score points and they are a team which has some real strike from dummy half through Leeming and Dwyer.
“Across the board, we are doing some really good things, we just have to bring it all together.”
Asked about injuries, Haggerty said: “Tyrone McCarthy suffered a heavy collision against Warrington. He is recovering but we were very worried about him. We are waiting for scans on Ben Reynolds who has a knee injury but we are hopeful Ben Flower could be back next week.”