Leigh have confirmed their withdrawal from the RFL’s invitational competition this autumn.
The Centurions expressed an interest in participating in the competition but they have now decided against it. The only other four clubs to sign up to the competition are Batley, Barrow, Bradford and Dewsbury.
Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said: “I have tried all year to get the Championship going and have accepted that was not going to happen with a meaningful season and that we would have no opportunity for promotion.
“I put forward our club’s interest in the autumn competition as I wanted our players who have remained in great shape to be able to have the opportunity to play some rugby and more importantly to repay the fantastic loyalty shown to us by our sponsors and season ticket holders that has been overwhelming.
“As a result of that support, as previously communicated, I increased the budget for 2021 playing roster and John Duffy spoke to each player regarding where he was at in an honest manner.
“We lost a couple of players we wouldn’t have wanted to and therefore set out on our recruitment drive to bring in Super League players for next year’s challenge.
“This means that the dates proposed for the autumn competition cannot work for our squad as it would be unfair to expect players who have come from a crammed season to continue playing in November and December which would in mine and my coaches opinions, be against player welfare.
“It would also see us forgo a pre-season to the disadvantage of those not competing in it, which is a big part of the preparation and would hinder our opportunities for the club’s main focus which is to get promoted to Super League in 2021.”
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