Leigh Centurions have played in Super League on three occasions.
However, unfortunately in every season the Centurions have slipped out of the division and back into the Championship.
They were relegated in 2005 with just five points from 28 games alongside Widnes Vikings as two clubs fell out of the league to enable the newly promoted Castleford Tigers and Catalans Dragons into the league.
It would be another 12 years until we saw Leigh in Super League despite their dominance of the Championship around 2014 when Ryan Brierley was tearing the league apart.
In 2014, their quality was underlined by the fact they got to the Challenge Cup quarter-finals only just coming up short against eventual cup winners Leeds with the game locked at 12-all late in the contest.
A year later they would again cause Super League sides problems in the cup and looked set to exploit the Million Pound Game and get into Super League but were beaten out by Bradford for a place in the decider against Wakefield.
However, a year later they didn’t even need a Million Pound Game to get promoted but ended the regular season in 11th spot after 23 rounds with six wins one of which famously came against Wigan.
Then in the Middle 8s they finished fourth and hosted the Million Pound Game losing to Catalans at home for a place in Super League in 2018.
Finally in 2020 they were promoted during the pandemic as the club who would best replace Toronto in the top tier. But with a lack of prep, they struggled all campaign winning just two games having played 22.
Now though they are 80 minutes away from a return to the top tier. With IMG making recommendations to bring in licensing in Super League, it does pose the question do Leigh belong in Super League and would they be branded as a category A club by IMG?
Based on the investment of Derek Beaumont has put into the club, especially this year with some massive stars at Leigh Sports Village, you’d have to say yes and that is the view of former Centurion and current Wakefield hooker Liam Hood.
Hood took to Twitter today to wish his former side well against Batley in the Championship Grand Final today believing the Centurions belong in Super League: “Good luck Leigh Centurions, hope you get the job done and get back to where you belong.”
Good luck @LeighCenturions hope yous get the job done and get back to where yous belong 💪🏻
— Liam hood (@Liamhood24) October 2, 2022
It remains to be seen whether Hood will come up against his former club in Super League next year.