Column: The Championship is more exciting than ever before

The Betfred Championship has been a revelation this year, proving it needs more TV coverage.

For the first time in a while, I actually look forward to watching Championship games every weekend now.

The fact that there are four full-time teams in the second division just shows that Rugby League is actually on the up, rather than being on a downward spiral as we all tend to read.

Many tipped Leigh Centurions to finish the regular season at the top of table, including myself, and even though it could still happen, their boat has been rocked by losing four of their first five games.

Toronto Wolfpack are going to cause a stir in the league this year, having been promoted from League 1 last season. The Wolfpack seem to be a little bit like marmite, you either love them or loathe them. There’s no doubt that they’re a highly talented team though.

John Duffy has done a brilliant job with Featherstone Rovers so far, with them most recently beating Leigh. They’ve got a solid squad there this year, with quite a lot of Championship experience under their belts.

Toulouse Olympique are going great at the moment and have a great front-row, consisting of USA star Eddy Pettybourne and former New Zealand international Sam Rapira.

The team of the Championship at the minute is London Broncos, without a doubt. Danny Ward has done a brilliant job in taking over the reins from Andrew Henderson in the off-season and isn’t afraid to give youngsters a go.

We haven’t even mentioned teams like Dewsbury Rams, Batley Bulldogs and Swinton Lions yet who have also improved their squads and will be looking to cause a couple of upsets this year.

Super League obviously has the quality but entertainment-wise, the Championship is edging it this year because every week there has been surprise results.

It’s just a shame the neutrals miss out on the exciting action because it isn’t shown on television.

Sky Sports own the broadcasting rights for Super League and Championship but the latter doesn’t get shown unless it’s the Summer Bash at Bloomfield Road in Blackpool.

It’s good to see that Premier Sports broadcast all Toronto games LIVE. At least there is one Championship game on every weekend but I guess a down side is that it’s the same team every week.

What about a clash between Swinton and Rochdale being shown on Sky? Or Leigh v Toulouse? Or Halifax v Featherstone? It’d be great to see!

The Championship is a brilliant product and it isn’t appreciated enough by the broadcasters. It’s a shame really.

Even if it was just one game, maybe Monday night Rugby League or something. One day, hopefully.

About Drew Darbyshire 8035 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

1 Comment

  1. There’s some great rugby in League 1 too, and because there’s no broadcast deal a lot of it ends up on Youtube.

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