Preview: Leigh v Sheffield (TV)

Leigh Centurions coach Paul Rowley will be picking from strength for Thursday’s live televised Co-operative Championship thriller with Sheffield Eagles.

Victory for Leigh would see Rowley’s men draw level with Halifax at the top of the table, despite a traumatic off-season which initially led to fears for the club’s future.

Rowley said: “If we do as well in the second half of the season as we have in the first, we’ll be absolutely over the moon.

“It seems a million years ago since we were worried whether there’d be a club, then whether we could field a team, and then whether we could win a single game.

“We’ve overachieved and done well, and we are where we are because of hard work and honesty, but it doesn’t get any easier. We’ll have to be even better in the second half of the season than we have been so far.”

However, Rowley does not expect an easy ride from Sheffield.

He said: “They’ve been consistent for the last five years, and their acquisitions over the last couple of seasons have just given them that extra bit of quality.

“They’re a side with ambition and a very realistic chance of winning silverware. They’re up there with the best.”

Peter Green, Andrew Henderson, Jack Howieson and Liam Higgins are all set to return to the Eagles line up after missing Saturday’s 40-12 win in Carcassonne.

Dane McDonald (ankle) is Sheffield coach Mark Aston’s only injury doubt.

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