Leigh hope final play of the game will prove a winner in Super League bid

Toronto's Blake Wallace: Joining Leigh. Picture: SWPixToronto's Blake Wallace: Joining Leigh. Picture: SWPix
Toronto's Blake Wallace: Joining Leigh. Picture: SWPix
TODAY, Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont will discover if his “grubber” resulted in the most important try of all.

Having submitted a 430-page application for a 2021 Super League place at the end of last month, Beaumont used an interesting analogy to describe the Championship club’s chances of success.

He said: “When the document was delivered it almost felt like the operational board and non-playing staff and partners have played the play-offs in the boardroom rather than on the field.

“I am confident we have made the ‘Million Pound Game.’

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“It feels like I am placing a grubber kick to the corner, it’s the last play of the game, I close my eyes, I can’t bear to watch.

“Does he get there and ground the ball to win? We will all be waiting to find out.”

A seven-strong panel, chaired by Lord Jonathan Caine, has been deliberating six bids in total with York City Knights, Bradford Bulls, Toulouse Olympique, Featherstone Rovers and London Broncos all also in the running.

The decision is set to be announced around noon this lunchtime and Leigh certainly left no stone unturned when putting together a substantial package to showcase why they should replace Toronto Wolfpack.

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They have started by actually signing many of the Toronto players who were left without a club after the Canadian franchise encountered financial issues this year and withdrew from Super League at the end of July.

They include Australian stand-off Blake Wallace, former Warrington Wolves winger Matty Russell, Joe Mellor and Adam Sidlow.

But Leigh – who already operate a full-time operation – have also added plenty more players from Super League.

Grand Final winner and Wales prop Ben Flower arrives from Wigan Warriors.

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They have also picked up four players from Hull KR – Jamie Ellis, Nathaniel Peteru, Matty Gee and Centurions record try-scorer Ryan Brierley – plus New Zealander Jamie Bell from Toulouse.

Like Bradford and London, Leigh have operated in Super League before, although admittedly with limited success.

In 2005, they won just two games before suffering an immediate relegation.

Similarly, they did not survive in 2017 either after losing to Catalans Dragons in the ‘Million Pound Game’ although they did beat Wigan, Warrington and St Helens during the regular season.

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One of the main factors playing in Leigh’s favour is the impressive Leigh Sports Village, the 12,000-capacity stadium that is of such high standard it has hosted England internationals.

They will now wait to see if they have done enough to persuade the powers-that-be.

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