Sunday’s Championship talking points

Are Featherstone the real deal?

The majority of the off-season focus has been on Leigh and Toronto, but just behind those two are Featherstone, who have been causing waves themselves with some high-profile signings of their own.

Their credentials will be given a thorough examination by the old enemy, Halifax, on Sunday in a fixture that very rarely fails to deliver.

Fax have aspirations of their own to make the top four, so this game will undoubtedly be one of the ties to look out for.

Are Barrow ready for the top flight?

The Raiders are back in the second tier and are determined to make sure it isn’t a short-term stay.

First up are London, who will provide solid competition for Paul Crarey’s side on their return.

The Broncos are one of the big-hitters in this league and in truth, Barrow couldn’t have asked for a tougher test. But it takes pressure off them to get a result, and that works in their favour. Their performance will be the first indicator of their hopes for the year.

Toronto and Leigh – will mayhem ensue?

It’s perhaps the most eagerly anticipated game of the entire round.

There is no on-field history between the two clubs, but off it, there’s a bitterness that neither party will be able to talk down despite their recent efforts.

Paul Rowley’s first return to Leigh provides a fascinating subplot off the field. On it, it’s a battle of the two pre-season favourites, and it promises to be a fine advert for the competition.