Leigh name squad for historic Salford clash

Paul Rowley has named the first Centurions line-up of the new season ahead of Leigh’s game against Salford that will create history at the Salford Community Stadium.

Six new signings will make their debuts in an experimental team named by the former Leigh number nine, including Gregg McNally and Rob Parker.

Despite being a little short on numbers due to the unavailability of several players Rowley says both he and his players are looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a real priviledge to be involved in the unveiling of Salford’s new stadium, we’ve all seen it on the our way to the Trafford Centre but it’s always nice to be part of history. Salford will make history at their new home.

“For us it’s a case it’s a case of, we’ve come a long way in a very short time.

“Are we ready yet to take on a team of Super League standard? Probably not. We are a bit thin on the ground. We’ve put people in who we wouldn’t normally play in normal circumstances. We’ve struggled to get a team on the pitch.

“We’ve got people out of position, we’ve got three props, one of them only doing one week’s training in Tommy Gallagher. It’s a real, real, massive challenge for our lads. There are all those negatives, but when all is said and done, the lads are so enthusiastic and positive, and not phased by it one little bit. We are quite excited about the challenge.

“It’s all about us and over the last couple of weeks we’ve learned a lot about each other and whatever happens, we will learn a lot and we’ll come strong as a unit from it.

“Friendlies are always a bit of a challenge and we’ll have some more people available for Halifax in Michael Ostick and Stuart Littler.

“We’ve got a strong starting thirteen and we’ll look to see what we can do and take a lot from that period of time. We’ll see how we stick to, and implement, things that we’ve practiced in training; and how we cope with Super League opposition who are obviously under a new coach regime and want to make a big impression. They are putting a full strength side out and they want to send a clear message out to everybody.

“In their eyes we are not there to spoil the party, we are there to just make up the numbers, but anyone in life loves a challenge. We’ve got enough experience and youthfulness to go there and want to upset and get in people’s faces and learn a bit more about each other, more than about Salford. There’s not been one word of negativity from our camp. We remain positive and excited.”

In addition to Ostick and Littler; Adam Clay, Chris Gerrard are unavailable while James Taylor is still recovering from an operation and youngster Sam Singleton has not been risked against the Super League team.

The team is: Gregg McNally, Jon Pownall, Steve Maden, Matt Gadner, Dean McGilvary; Martyn Ridyard, John Duffy; Ricky Bibey, Bob Beswick, Rob Parker, Tommy Goulden, Craig Briscoe, Sam Hopkins. Subs: Ryan Brierley, Anthony Nicholson, Tommy Gallagher, Chris Rowe, Ricky Murphy.

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