Leigh Leopards name star studded squad for Super League return

Leigh are back in Super League and back with a bang.

They have a new name changing from the Leigh Centurions to the Leigh Leopards. On top of this, they have made some major signings like former Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors star Zak Hardaker as well as highly sought after centre Ricky Leutele from Huddersfield Giants.

Add this to the star power they already had and they are set for a big season. But can they finally avoid relegation unlike in 2005, 2017 and 2021?

As they welcome back Super League back to Leigh Sports Village, not only are they set to welcome last year’s semi-finalist to the ground but famous band Scouting For Girls.

They of course host Salford Red Devils who have only strengthened after a stunning 2022 season.

It will be tough to beat the Red Devils but Adrian Lam has named a very strong squad for the fixture with the likes of Zak Hardaker, Tom Briscoe, Ricky Leutele, Rob Mulhern, Jack Hughes, Oliver Holmes, Gareth O’Brien, Matty Davis, Jacob Gannon and their latest new recruit ex-Leeds Rhinos prop Ava Seumanufagai.

Halfback Mellor is one who misses out and Tom Amone is included after avoiding a ban for unacceptable charge as Josh McGuire was found guilty and given a seven game ban.

It had been reported this week that Paul Rowley had a bare-bones squad to select from for his side’s Super League opener, however he has named a 21-man squad to travel to Leigh.

Plenty of big names are missing but Rowley’s men still look strong as they travel to the Super League new boys in the televised fixture on Friday evening.

The major miss for Salford is winger Joe Burgess who had formed a brilliant partnership with centre Tim Lafai throughout the 2022 season.

Despite missing Burgess the rest of the back line looks strong with Scotland international Ryan Brierley sitting behind a presumed four of Ken Sio, Deon Cross, Tim Lafai and then Rhys Williams.

New skipper Kallum Watkins could always revert back to his traditional centre position but he’s transformed his career as a second-rower under Paul Rowley and will likely fill out a pack that has new signing Oliver Partington featuring.

Salford will face a Leigh side that have impressed during pre-season but will have a tough task incorporating their huge number of signings.

Leigh have promised “the best freaking night of your life” to fans with plans for a concert pre-game as well as half-time entertainment.

Pairing that with the optimism around Salford following an impressive year in 2022 the Red Devils have sold out their allocation for the Friday fixture, a great achievement considering it’s a televised game.

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