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Championship set for two team battle for promotion as bookmakers reveal odds

Bookmakers have finally released odds for the 2023 Championship campaign and two teams lead the betting clear of the pack in what is set to be a brilliant year of competition.

Teams have been recruiting throughout the off-season and there’s some serious talent in the division with many former Super League players set to play in the second tier.

The most notable and surprising signing of all was of course Luke Gale with the former Man of Steel securing a move to Keighley Cougars, the 2022 League One Champions showing clear intent to push for back-to-back promotions.

Another team who have recruited impressively are Featherstone Rovers who have had a complete shake-up with Sean Long being brought in as head coach, having worked with France over the past few years and at the recent World Cup, whilst they’ve also signed a number of players including former Super League players Mathieu Cozza, Chris Hankinson and Elijah Taylor.

With such heavy recruitment Rovers top the betting as joint favourites priced at 7/4 to secure the title and try gain promotion to Super League, the promised land that they’ve been striving to reach since it’s inception in 1996.

Joining them as joint favourites are Toulouse Olympique, a side that tasted Super League last season but ultimately fell short as they finished bottom of the table and return to the second tier.

With the Championship comprising of a lot of part-time teams Toulouse always capitalise and boast a very solid home record which has been key in all of their Championship campaigns.

Sitting as joint third favourites are new boys Keighley alongside Bradford Bulls and Halifax Panthers with the latter having finished third last season and the Bulls retaining plenty of former Super League talent such as Dec Patton whilst being joined by new recruits Michael Lawrence and Jack Walker.

Last season’s shock Million Pound Game losers, Batley Bulldogs, are priced at 20/1 but have lost full-back Luke Hooley to Leeds Rhinos.

Former Super League side Widnes Vikings sit at 16/1 alongside York City Knights whilst plenty of sides are priced at 50/1 and larger with Swinton Lions being the bookies longest shot at 100/1.

A full list of prices taken from Sky Bet are listed below.

*Note the market is titled ‘Grand Final Outright’ and not for the League Leaders Shield.*

Featherstone Rovers 7/4

Toulouse Olympique 7/4

Bradford Bulls 12/1

Halifax Panthers 12/1

Keighley Cougars 12/1

Widnes Vikings 16/1

York City Knights 16/1

Batley Bulldogs 20/1

Barrow Raiders 25/1

Sheffield Eagles 40/1

London Broncos 50/1

Newcastle Thunder 66/1

Whitehaven RLFC 80/1

Swinton Lions 100/1

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