Leigh Leopards return to Super League doesn’t get any easier.
After losing to last year’s semi-finalists Salford Red Devils last week at home in a closely contested battle at the Leigh Sports Village in front of a party atmosphere, the Leopards head to France this weekend to take on the Catalans Dragons.
The French side finished in the top four for the third season in a row last year and started the season with a win away at Wakefield Trinity.
They are expected to make it two wins from two against the Leopards on Saturday but the Leopards have named a strong squad for the game.
Kick-off Time and TV Channel
The game kicks off in France at 18:00 which is 17:00 UK time.
Unlike in previous years, the game will not be on Sky Sports. There will sadly be no live TV coverage but BBC will show highlights in the Super League Show.
In Steve McNamara’s squad, Sam Tomkins and Arthur Romano replace Mitchell Pearce and Siua Taukeiaho.
Pearce and Taukeiaho were set to play against Wakefield but dropped out of the side late due to calf and knee injuries respectively.
Former Wigan Warriors star and two-time Man of Steel Tomkins returns to the squad much earlier than expected.
Here is the squad:
🏉 𝗟𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗣𝗘
𝑃𝑟𝑒́𝑠𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒́ 𝑝𝑎𝑟 𝑍𝑜𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑐
Steve McNamara a dévoilé son groupe pour le retour à Brutus face à @LeighLeopardsRL
🇬🇧 https://t.co/4C8wQwdvFP pic.twitter.com/gkcXpvSCFs
— Dragons Catalans (@DragonsOfficiel) February 23, 2023
As for Leigh, In terms of their first 13 squad numbers, only number six Joe Mellor misses out with Gareth O’Brien expected to continue in the halves.
Aaron Smith is included in the squad as an option at nine. In Round One, Matty Davis made his debut for the Leopards after joining from Warrington Wolves at hooker with Edwin Ipape starting the season on the bench, where he played his best rugby last year.
It will be interesting to see if Smith gets game time at hooker this weekend.
New signing from Wigan Warriors Umyla Hanley again misses out whilst Ben Reynolds will be pushing O’Brien and Lachlan Lam for a spot in the halves.
📋 𝗦𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗗 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 📋
The gaffer has named his twenty-one man squad to face @DragonsOfficiel in Perpignan on Saturday. 🐆#Leythers pic.twitter.com/obUD2W5zgF
— Leigh Leopards (@LeighLeopardsRL) February 23, 2023
The Dragons are yet to name their squad.