Leigh Leopards will have history against them heading into the 2023 Super League season with recent years suggesting that the promoted side almost always goes back down.
Given the investment that Leigh have put towards their 2023 campaign they’re actually not favourites to get relegated, instead Wakefield Trinity occupy that role.
However that doesn’t change the fact that under the current relegation format, 12th placed gets relegated, every single team that was promoted the season prior went straight back down.
The sample size is only four years, with one of those years technically void because Toronto couldn’t fulfil their fixtures, however London Broncos, Leigh Centurions and now Toulouse Olympique have all suffered the fate of immediate relegation.
One of the Leopard’s star signings, Zak Hardaker, has stated that whilst avoiding the drop is goal number one, his side have ambitions of their own, something Hardaker told The Sportsman Rugby League Youtube channel.
“I think depending on who you ask you’ll get different answers. Bottom line is to not get relegated but I’ve never even thought about that.
“I’d love to say mid table, a playoff place. I don’t see why not, I think you’ve always got to aim high and see where you go. If we finish 11th or 1th I don’t think that’s a disaster either.
“The bottom line is not to get relegated but anything above that is pretty good, but I do like to win stuff and challenge myself.”
Hardaker is also not writing off a whirlwind season with the club making the playoffs and has taken inspiration from former team’s he’s been involved in.
“There’s been teams the last couple of years that have gone as total underdogs in the season and then finished top six or top four and achieved things. I think we’ve got a bunch of guys that are competitive and want to be the best to hopefully that reflects on the game days.”