Leigh Centurions captain Micky Higham has admitted he is hoping to see the club attract plenty of new fans this weekend: as Batley coach John Kear plans to be the scourge of the Centurions once again.
Leigh face Batley looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Qualifiers to six games ahead of an eagerly-anticipated showdown with Leeds Rhinos next weekend.
And although Higham is not playing after being rested from their 19-man squad by coach Neil Jukes, the Centurions skipper can’t wait to see the Leigh Sports Village packed to the rafters after owner Derek Beaumont opened the gates to the ground for free.
“We’d love to finish our last home game with another good performance,” he said.
“Batley will want to come and spoil the party so it’ll be a great atmosphere. Derek has produced a gesture which I think is beyond words; he’s opened up the ground for free so hopefully we’ll get some new faces who will get a taste for it ahead of Super League.
“The crowds are getting bigger all the time and there’s a great feel to the place right now. The future is boding well and this Saturday will be great.”
Meanwhile Kear, whose Batley side beat the Centurions in the opening round of the season, is aiming to spoil the party once again this weekend.
“We’re going to try and spoil the party at Leigh,” he said.
“We know that Leigh are a great team; they’ve justified this system and they’re up. They’ll want to go unbeaten through the Qualifiers but we’ll play as well as we possibly can. We’ve improved as this whole thing has gone on.
“We caught them unawares first game but the second game was 37-30 at Leigh. Just as we respect them, I believe they respect us and what we’ve achieved as well.”