Championship 2019 Preview: Club-by-club

The 2019 Betfred Championship promises to be one of the most exciting competitions ever.

With Toronto Wolfpack, smarting from their Million Pound Game defeat to London Broncos, joined by historic names like Widnes and Bradford in the second tier, it’s all to play for.

French side Toulouse add their flair to the competition, while Halifax, Leigh and Featherstone will all want to have their say on who finishes in the top five.

Newly promoted York are only going in one way, and establish themselves in the Championship in the same year they move in to a new stadium could well lay the foundations for accession to Super League.

Rochdale have recruited well under new coach Carl Forster after struggling last year, while basement boys from 2018, Swinton, go in to the campaign with renewed confidence.

Mark Aston’s Sheffield have recruited well and may well be a team to watch and Batley will continue to cause problems for all teams in the division as they so often do.

Dewsbury start a new era under Lee Greenwood and after a relatively comfortable first season back in the Championship, Barrow will be eager to fly the flag proudly for Cumbria.

Check out our extensive club-by-club guide below.

BARROW RAIDERS

Coach: Paul Crarey
Assistant: Steve Rea
Captain: Martin Aspinwall
Key Man: Lewis Charnock
One to Watch: Jake Spedding

Ins: Deon Cross (Rochdale Hornets), Jake Spedding (St Helens), Stargroth Amean, Wartovo Puara, Willie Minoga (all PNG Hunters), Gareth Hock (Featherstone Rovers), Jordan Walne (Hull KR), Tee Ritson (Newcastle Thunder)

Outs: Joe Bullock (Wigan Warriors), Dean Parata (Toulouse Olympique), Ryan Fieldhouse, Andy Litherland (both Workington)

Squad: 1 Tee Ritson, 2 Stargroth Amean, 3 Declan Hulme, 4 Jake Spedding, 5 Deon Cross, 6 Jamie Dallimore, 7 Lewis Charnock, 8 Tom Walker, 9 Nathan Mossop, 10 Gareth Hock, 11 Jono Smith, 12 Jarrad Stack, 13 Martin Aspinwall, 14 Wartovo Puara Jr, 15 Dan Toal, 16 Glenn Riley, 17 Ryan Duffy, 18 Luke Cresswell, 19 Danny Morrow, 20 Bradd Crellin, 21 Tom Loxam, 22 Ryan Johnston, 23 Shane Toal, 24 Jake Carter, 25 Jordan Walne, 26 Willie Minoga, 27 Brett Carter

BATLEY BULLDOGS

Coach: Matt Diskin
Assistant: Danny Maun
Captain: Dom Brambani
Key Man: Dom Brambani
One to Watch: Louis Jouffret

Ins: Toby Everett (Dewsbury Rams), Jack Downs (Hull FC), Joseph Taira, Paul Brearley (Rochdale Hornets), Tyler Dickinson, Sam Wood (both Huddersfield Giants), Louis Jouffret (Catalans Dragons)

Outs: Alex Rowe (Newcastle Thunder), James Davey, Jason Crookes, Joel Farrell (Sheffield Eagles)

Squad: 1 Dave Scott, 2 Wayne Reittie, 3 Sam Smeaton, 4 Lewis Galbraith, 5 Johnny Campbell, 6 Louis Jouffret, 7 Dom Brambani, 8 Adam Gledhill, 9 Alistair Leak, 11 Dane Manning, 12 Jack Downs, 13 James Brown, 14 Danny Yates, 15 Toby Everett, 16 Michael Ward, 17 Tyler Dickinson, 18 Tom Hemingway, 19 Alex Bretherton, 20 Niall Walker, 21 Jo Taira, 22 Sam Wood, 23 Keenan Tomlinson

BRADFORD BULLS

Coach: John Kear
Assistant: Leigh Beattie
Captain: Steve Crossley
Key Man: Jy Hitchcox
One to Watch: Joe Keyes

Ins: Callum Bustin, Jake Webster, James Green, Jy Hitchcox (all Castleford Tigers), Jon Magrin (Sheffield Eagles), David Foggin-Johnson (Hunslet), Mikey Wood (Huddersfield Giants), Matty Wildie, Connor Farrell (both Featherstone Rovers), Rhys Evans (Leigh Centurions)

Outs: James Davies (Huddersfield RUFC), Reiss Butterworth (Huddersfield Giants), Vila Halafihi (Hunslet), Danny King, Jordan Andrade, Harvey Burnett, Alex Brown (all Dewsbury Rams), Lee Smith (released), Gregg McNally (Leigh Centurions)

Squad: 2 Ethan Ryan, 3 Jake Webster, 4 Ashley Gibson, 5 Jy Hitchcox, 6 Joe Keyes, 7 Dane Chisholm, 8 Liam Kirk, 9 Matty Wildie, 10 Steve Crossley, 11 Matt Garside, 12 Elliot Minchella, 13 Mikey Wood, 14 Jordan Lilley, 15 Callum Bustin, 16 James Green, 17 Ross Peltier, 18 Sam Hallas, 19 Jon Magrin, 20 Brandon Pickersgill, 21 George Flanagan, 22 Dalton Grant, 23 George Milton, 24 David Foggin-Johnston, 25 Connor Farrell, 26 Ross Oakes, 27 Rowan Milnes, 28 Evan Hodgson, 29 Matthew Storton, 30 Oliver Wilson, 31 Rhys Evans

DEWSBURY RAMS

Coach: Lee Greenwood
Assistant: Gareth Greenwood
Captain: Paul Sykes
Key Man: Paul Sykes
One to Watch: Lewis Heckford

Ins: Tom Garratt (Siddal), Jacob Thomas (Normanby Hounds), Harvey Burnett, Alex Brown, Danny King, Jordan Andrade (all Bradford Bulls), Lewis Heckford (Wigan Warriors), Harvey Hallas, Cameron Leeming, Andy Gabriel (all Keighley Cougars), Matt Nicholson, Liam Mackay (Hunslet), Jack Wray (Castleford Tigers), Liam Johnson (Huddersfield Giants), Charlie Martin (Doncaster)

Outs: Jack Teanby (York City Knights), Aaron Brown, Josh Gudzek, James Glover (all Sheffield Eagles), Toby Everett (Batley Bulldogs), Gareth Moore (retired)

Squad: 1 Dale Morton, 2 Andrew Gabriel, 3 Cameron Leeming, 4 Adam Ryder, 5 Alex Brown, 6 Paul Sykes, 7 Simon Brown, 8 Jode Sheriffe, 9 Robbie Ward, 10 Toby Richardson, 11 Lucas Walshaw, 12 Michael Knowles, 13 Kyle Trout, 14 Lewis Heckford, 15 Liam Johnson, 16 Jordan Andrade, 17 Martyn Reilly, 18 Sam Day, 19 Daniel Igbinedion, 20 Charlie Martin, 21 Jacob Thomas, 22 Danny King, 23 Rob Worrincy, 24 Harvey Hallas, 25 Matt Nicholson, 26 Tom Halliday, 27 Jack Ray, 29 Jack Richardson, 30 Tom Garratt

FEATHERSTONE ROVERS

Coach: Ryan Carr
Assistant: Paul March
Captain: James Lockwood
Key Man: Cameron King
One to Watch: Watson Boas

Ins: Ase Boas, Thompson Teteh, Watson Boas (all PNG Hunters), Dakota Whylie, Kiedan Hartley, Spencer Darley, Brett Delaney (all Leeds), Jack Bussey (Toronto), Cameron King (Parramatta), Conor Carey (Easts), Daniel Smith (Huddersfield, loan), Brad Day, James Harrison (both Batley), Morgan Punchard (Halifax), James Beckett (Castleford)

Outs: Tom Holmes (Huddersfield), Keal Carlile (Newcastle), Richard Moore (Hunslet), Connor Farrell (Bradford), Gareth Hock (Barrow), Anthony Thackeray (Sheffield), Misi Taulapapa (Newcastle), Matty Wildie (Bradford), Martin Ridyard, Sam Brooks (both Leigh), Luke Briscoe (Leeds), Shaun Robinson (Halifax), Brad Knowles (Sheffield), Ian Hardman (retired), Frankie Mariano (Doncaster)

Squad (numbers TBC): Thompson Teteh, James Hardcastle, Conor Carey, Ase Boas, Watson Boas, Scott Wheeldon, Cameron King, Jack Bussey, Brett Delaney, Brad Day, James Lockwood, John Davies, Luke Cooper, Danny Maskill, James Harrison, Spencer Darley, Jimmy Beckett, Kiedan Hartley, Morgan Punchard, Dakota Whylie, Jimmy McDaniel, Daniel Smith.

HALIFAX

Coach: Richard Marshall
Assistant: Marlon Billy
Captain: Scott Murrell
Key Man: Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e
One to Watch: Chester Butler

Ins: Kevin Larroyer (Leigh Centurions), Ben Kavanagh (Hull KR), Shaun Robinson (Featherstone Rovers), Ben White (Berkeley Eagles), Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e (Castleford Tigers), Reece Chapman-Smith (Leeds Rhinos), Liam Cooper (St Helens)

Outs: Ben Heaton (Hunslet), Adam Tangata (Widnes Vikings)

Squad: 1 Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, 2 Shaun Robinson, 3 Steve Tyrer, 4 Chester Butler, 5 Will Sharp, 6 Scott Murrell, 7 Ben Johnston, 8 Dan Fleming, 9 Ben Kaye, 10 Jacob Fairbank, 11 Shane Grady, 12 Ed Barber, 13 Simon Grix, 14 Brandon Moore, 15 Harry Kid, 16 Kevin Larroyer, 17 Ben Kavanagh, 18 Elliot Morris, 19 Ben White, 20 James Saltonstall, 21 Conor McGrath, 22 Connor Davies, 23 James Woodburn-Hall, 24 Curtis Davies, 25 Liam Cooper, 26 Sion Jones, 27 Reece Chapman-Smith, 28 Will Calcott, 29 Frazer Morris, 30 Adam Brook, 31 Jordan Syme

LEIGH CENTURIONS

Coach: John Duffy
Assistant: Paul Anderson
Captain: Micky Higham
Key Man: Martyn Ridyard
One to Watch: Josh Woods

Ins: Martyn Ridyard, Sam Brooks (both Featherstone Rovers), Tom Spencer (London Broncos), Iain Thornley (Catalans Dragons), Andy Bracek, Andrew Thornley (both Swinton Lions), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings), Declan O’Donnell, Jack Higginson, Josh Woods (all Wigan Warriors), Toby Adamson, Luke Adamson (both Rochdale Hornets), Ben Sims (St Helens), Oliver Russell (Huddersfield Giants), Joe Cator (Hull KR), Gregg McNally (Bradford Bulls), Brad Holroyd (Leigh East)

Outs: Peter Mata’utia (Castleford Tigers), Matty Dawson-Jones (Hull FC), Ben Crooks (Hull KR), Ben Reynolds (Wakefield Trinity), Ilias Bergal, Jordan Dezaria (both Toulouse Olympique), Jack Blagbrough (York City Knights), Kevin Larroyer (Halifax), Rhys Evans (Bradford Bulls)

Squad: 1 Gregg McNally, 2 Jonny Pownall, 3 Iain Thornley, 4 Jack Higginson, 5 Stefan Marsh, 6 Martyn Ridyard, 7 Josh Woods, 8 Tom Spencer, 9 Micky Higham, 10 Sam Brooks, 11 Toby Adamson, 12 Andy Thornley, 13 Luke Adamson, 14 Olly Russell, 15 Joe Cator, 16 Andy Bracek, 17 Nick Gregson, 18 Dec O’Donnell, 19 Mitch Cox, 20 Ben Sims, 21 Brad Holroyd

ROCHDALE HORNETS

Coach: Carl Forster
Assistant:
Captain: Lee Mitchell
Key Man: Scott Moore
One to Watch: Ellis Gillam

Ins: Jack Cottington (Warrington Wolves), Nathan Reidy (Wigan Warriors), Callum Wood (Orrell St James), Daniel Abram, Ellis Gillam, Stuart Howarth (all Whitehaven), Liam Carberry, Scott Moore (both unattached), Shaun Ainscough (Batley Bulldogs), Danny Price, Ryan Milligan (both North Wales Crusaders), Paddy Flynn (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Ben Morris (St Helens), Michael Weldon (Sheffield Eagles)

Outs: Lewis Hatton, Billy Brickhill (both Swinton Lions), Joseph Taira (Batley Bulldogs), Rob Massam (North Wales Crusaders), Deon Cross (Barrow Raiders), Toby Adamson, Luke Adamson (both Leigh Centurions)

Squad: 1 Declan Kay, 2 Shaun Ainscough, 3 Seta Tala, 4 Ben Morris, 5 Paddy Flynn, 6 Scott Moore, 7 Dan Abram, 9 Ben Moores, 10 Carl Forster, 11 Lee Mitchell, 12 Ellis Gillam, 13 Stuart Howarth, 14 Elliott Jenkins, 15 Declan Gregory, 16 Mike Weldon, 17 Liam Carberry, 18 Ryan Millington, 20 Joe Ryan, 21 Jack Cottington, 22 Callum Wood, 27 Nathan Reidy

SHEFFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Mark Aston
Assistant: Keith Senior
Captain: Matt James
Key Man: Anthony Thackeray
One to Watch: Josh Guzdek

Ins: James Davey, Jason Crookes, Joel Farrell, Pat Walker (all Batley Bulldogs), Sonny Esslemont, Louis Sheriff, Lewis Taylor (all Hemel Stags), Aaron Brown, Josh Guzdek, James Glover (all Dewsbury Rams), Ben Pointer (Newcastle Thunder), Rory Dixon (York City Knights), Brad Knowles, Anthony Thackeray (Featherstone Rovers)

Outs: Iliess Macani (London Skolars), Nabil Djalout (Carcassonne), Matty Fozard (London Broncos), Max Garcia (Albi Tigers), Jon Magrin (Bradford Bulls), Mike Weldon (Rochdale Hornets), Simon Brown (Dewsbury Rams), Oscar Thomas (Swinton Lions), Mark Offerdahl (Goondiwindi Boards), Joshua Toole (released), Menzie Yere (retired)

Squad: 1 Josh Guzdek, 2 Ryan Millar, 4 Jason Crookes, 5 Ben Blackmore, 6 Pat Walker, 7 Anthony Thackeray, 9 James Davey, 10 Matt James, 11 Brad Knowles, 12 Joel Farrell, 13 Aaron Brown, 14 Greg Burns, 15 Oliver Davies, 16 Corey Makelim, 17 Shaun Pick, 18 James Glover, 19 Sonny Esslemont, 20 Louis Sheriff, 21 Blake Broadbent, 22 Paddy Burns, 23 Rory Dixon, 24 Ben Pointer, 25 Lewis Taylor

SWINTON LIONS

Coach: Stuart Littler
Assistant: Allan Coleman
Captain: Rhodri Lloyd
Key Man: Rhodri Lloyd
One to Watch: Oscar Thomas

Ins: Oscar Thomas (Sheffield Eagles), Ashley Warne (Bury Broncos), Matty Ashton (Rochdale Mayfield), Gavin Bennion (Salford Red Devils), Mike Ratu (unattached), Harry Aaronson, Jose Kenga (Keighley Cougars), Rob Fairclough (St Helens), Lewis Hatton, Billy Brickhill (Rochdale Hornets), Joe Digby, Frankie Halton (Leigh Miner Rangers), Daley Williams (Hunslet)

Outs: Brad Billsborough (Grafton Ghosts), Josh Barlow (released), Andy Bracek, Andrew Thornley (Leigh Centurions)

Squad: 1 Jack Hansen, 2 Mike Butt, 3 Rhodri Lloyd, 4 Daley Williams, 5 Ryan Gray, 6 Oscar Thomas, 7 Rob Fairclough, 8 Gavin Bennion, 9 Luke Waterworth, 10 Lewis Hatton, 11 Adam Jones, 12 Kyle Shelford, 13 Will Hope, 14 Billy Brickhill, 15 Ben Austin, 16 Paddy Jones, 17 Aaron Hall, 18 Chris Worrall, 19 Jose Kenga, 20 Harry Aaronson, 21 Mike Ratu, 22 Frankie Halton, 23 Joe Digby, 24 Ashley Warne, 25 Matty Ashton

TORONTO WOLFPACK

Coach: Brian McDermott
Assistant: Simon Finnigan / Kurt Haggerty
Captain: Josh McCrone
Key Man: Jon Wilkin
One to Watch: Ricky Leutele

Ins: Ricky Leutele (Cronulla Sharks), Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Joe Mellor, Tom Olbison (both Widnes Vikings), Bodene Thompson (Warrington Wolves), Gadwin Springer (Castleford Tigers)

Outs: Jack Bussey (Featherstone Rovers), Jonny Pownall (Leigh Centurions), Mason Caton-Brown (released), Sam Hopkins (released)

Squad: 1 Gareth O’Brien, 2 Matty Russell, 3 Chase Stanley, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Liam Kay, 6 Joe Mellor, 7 Josh McCrone, 8 Adam Sidlow, 9 Bob Beswick, 10 Ashton Sims, 11 Andrew Dixon, 12 Bodene Thompson, 13 Jon Wilkin, 14 Andy Ackers, 15 Darcy Lussick, 16 Tom Olbison, 17 Blake Wallace, 18 Gadwin Springer, 19 Gary Wheeler, 20 Adam Higson, 22 Greg Worthington, 23 Ryan Brierley, 24 Nick Rawsthorne, 29 Jake Emmitt, 33 Olsi Krasniqi

TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE

Coach: Sylvain Houles
Assistant: Damien Couturier
Captain: Mark Kheirallah
Key Man: Mark Kheirallah
One to Watch: Bastien Ader

Ins: Dean Parata (Barrow Raiders), Joe Bretherton (Wigan Warriors), Ilias Bergal, Jordan Dezaria, Paterika Vaivai (Leigh Centurions), Ben Evans (London Broncos), Brenden Santi (Townsville Blackhawks), James Bell (New Zealand Warriors)

Outs: Sam Rapira (retired), Bastien Canet (AS Carcasonne), Charles Bouzinac (Lezignan Sangliers), Mourad Kriouache (released)

Squad: 1 Mark Kheirallah, 2 Tony Maurel, 3 Bastien Ader, 4 Gavin Marguerite, 5 Paul Marcon, 6 Johnathon Ford, 7 Stan Robin, 8 Maxime Puech, 9 Anthony Marion, 10 Joe Bretherton, 11 Constantine Mika, 12 Rhys Curran, 13 Andrew Bentley, 14 Dean Parata, 15 Ben Evans, 16 Tyla Hepi, 17 Paterika Vaivai, 18 Clement Boyer, 19 James Bell, 20 Ilias Bergal, 21 Jordan Dezaria, 22 Brenden Santi, 23 Justin Sangare, 30 William Barthau

WIDNES VIKINGS

Coach: Keiron Purtill
Assistant:
Captain: Hep Cahill
Key Man: Anthony Gelling
One to Watch: Olly Ashall-Bott

Ins: Anthony Gelling (New Zealand Warriors), Liam Hood, Jack Owens (both Leigh Centurions), Adam Tangata (Halifax)

Outs: Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston (both retired), Gil Dudson (Salford Red Devils), Rhys Hanbury, Charly Runciman, Alex Gerrard (all released), Matt Whitley (Catalans Dragons), Joe Mellor, Tom Olbison (both Toronto Wolfpack), Patrick Ah Van (Villegailhenc-Aragon), Danny Walker (Warrington Wolves), Lloyd White (Mackay Cutters), Stefan Marsh (Leigh Centurions)

Squad: 1 Olly Ashall-Bott, 2 Ryan Ince, 3 Krisnan Inu, 4 Anthony Gelling, 5 Jack Owens, 6 Danny Craven, 7 Tom Gilmore, 8 Jay Chapelhow, 9 Liam Hood, 10 Adam Tangata, 11 Harrison Hansen, 12 Chris Dean, 13 Hep Cahill, 14 Wellington Albert, 15 Jordan Johnstone, 16 MacGraff Leuluai, 17 Sam Wilde, 18 Ted Chapelhow, 19 Brad Walker, 20 Owen Farnworth, 21 Joe Lyons, 22 Owen Buckley, 23 Liam Walsh, 24 Keanan Brand, 25 Lloyd Roby, 26 Dan Norman, 27 Sam Freeman

York City Knights

Coach: James Ford
Assistant: Chris Spurr
Captain: Tim Spears
Key Man: Ben Cockayne
One to Watch: Matty Marsh

Ins: Kriss Brining (Salford Red Devils), Dave Peterson (unattached), Jack Blagbrough (Leigh Centurions), Perry Whiteley (Keighley Cougars), Kevin Brown (St Helens), Matty Marsh, Liam Salter (both Hull KR), Jack Teanby (Dewsbury Rams), Jason Bass (Coventry Bears), Marcus Stock (Hemel Stags), Ross Osborne (Hull FC)

Outs: Joe Batchelor (St Helens), Rory Dixon (Sheffield Eagles), Adam Robinson, Dan Hawksworth (Hunslet)

Squad: 1 Matty Marsh, 2 Ash Robson, 3 Liam Salter, 4 Brad Hey, 5 Matt Chilton, 6 Ben Cockayne, 7 Connor Robinson, 8 Ronan Dixon, 9 Will Jubb, 10 Jack Teanby, 11 Josh Jordan-Roberts, 12 Sam Scott, 13 Tim Spears, 14 Harry Carter, 15 Graeme Horne, 16 Jack Blagbrough, 17 Joe Porter, 19 Mike Kelly, 20 Perry Whiteley, 21 Judah Mazive, 22 Marcus Stock, 23 Jason Bass, 24 Kevin Brown

About James Messenger 198 Articles
20-year-old Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Chester. Freelance writer for Love Rugby League, Tribe Sports and others. Also part of the Marketing and Communications team at the Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger