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Championship side strongly refute ‘nonsense speculation’ about possible rebrand

There have been plenty of changes in rugby league of late with the introduction of IMG being a key one and also being something that sparked Leigh Centurions to rebrand to Leigh Leopards, so as to differentiate from Wigan Warriors as explained by their owner Derek Beaumont previously.

Rebrands and relocations in rugby league aren’t a new trend but with the expansion and growth of the sport it does seem that the heartlands are being abandoned for pastures new.

One key example, that ultimately failed, was the creation of Toronto Wolfpack who worked their way to Super League after creating a stellar side before ultimately collapsing due to financial reasons and Covid.

There have also been team rebrands such as Wakefield Trinity Wildcats dropping the ‘Wildcats’ part of their name, and York City Knights dropping ‘City;.

One team who have now strongly refuted any claim that they’re set to rebrand in 2024 is Championship side Swinton Lions.

The Lions got promoted in the 2022 season and they currently sit 13th in the league, teetering in the relegation zone but level on points with twelfth placed Keighley Cougars.

Swinton host in form Bradford on Sunday and one Bulls fan and journalist ‘The Game Caller’ suggested that Sunday would be the final time that Bradford travelled to Swinton ahead of the Lions rebrand.

He tweeted: “It’ll be the final time Swinton host the Bradford Bulls on Sunday before their rebrand to the Manchester Lions for 2024. I wonder if they’ll be the same anger from supporters that forced Andy Mazey and his directors to resign after they wanted to change the club’s title in 2019.”

Swinton hit back at the claims calling them “pure speculation”, whilst adding that the suggestion was “nonsense”.

Swinton responded: “Pure speculation and not true. Not the first time you’ve spoken nonsense about this club. Your source is being deliberately mischievous.”

The Game Caller did offer a response but failed to apologise for the miscommunication.

With Swinton desperate to retain their position in the Championship and the Bulls pressing on for a third placed finish, it’s sure to be an intense match on Sunday and this claim could add extra spice.

A win for the Lions could see them jump as high as tenth, such is the close nature of the bottom of the Championship, and points against Bradford would be huge at securing survival especially when the Lions are still to face both tenth and eleventh placed Whitehaven and Barrow respectively.

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