Championship Preview: Leigh Centurions v North Wales Crusaders

Stuart Littler
Stuart Littler
Sunday, 3.00pm at Leigh Sports Village
Centurions centre Stuart Littler, one of the most consistent and durable players of the modern era, is set to play his 100th game for the Leigh club.

Littler, after a career that included 247 Super League games for Salford City Reds, joined the Centurions at the start of the 2011 season, making his Centurions debut in a 24-4 Northern Rail Cup win at Batley on 6 February, 2011. The centre is just a handful of games short of the 450-game milestone.

Centurions coach Paul Rowley insists North Wales Crusaders will pose a major threat, despite Leigh’s strong start to the season.

Rowley said: “It’s a new division for the club, but it’s nothing new to their players. Plenty of their players have played at this level or higher, and they are a forward-thinking club that has invested heavily in recruitment.

“This will be our sternest test to date – they are a nailed on a play-off side, for sure.”

“I am fully aware Clive Griffiths will talk down their chances because he’s a wily old campaigner, but I’m a bit too wise to fall for that nonsense and so are my players.”

Crusaders coach Griffiths says seven players – Michael Platt, Andy Moulsdale, Dan Birkett, David Mills, Toby Adamson, Gary Middlehurst and Jono Smith – are all doubtful.

Griffiths said: “It’s going to be a hard day at the office for us, but we’ll go there, absorb it and learn from it.

“But having said that, if they take their eye off the ball then we’ll punish them, and they know that. We are very capable of scoring tries. They are overwhelming favourites, but you never know.”