Talking Rugby League: A Championship rivalry that promises to sparkle

The new Championship season is less than a week away and it’s hard not to feel incredibly excited about what will unfold before us this season.

The two hot favourites for promotion to Super League are Leigh and Featherstone and the bookmakers are finding it impossible to split them, with Betfred quoting both clubs at 6/4 to win the regular season, which is well ahead of the other twelve clubs.

This year we have the prospect of being able to watch a Championship game every week and I for one am delighted that the matches will be shown on Monday evenings.

The opening match will come from York’s wonderful new LNER Community Stadium when Featherstone are the visitors next Monday.

But the big game will be the following Monday, when Leigh will be the visitors to Featherstone’s Millennium Stadium.

I hope that the ground will be packed by supporters of both clubs and plenty of neutrals for a game that will have an enormous psychological value for the winner, who will put a marker down for the rest of the season.

The two clubs will meet each other three times this season, after the RFL revealed the fixtures for this season’s Summer Bash over the weekend.

Featherstone and Leigh will face each other in the fourth game of the day on Saturday evening, the 30th of July, so we are clearly going to have a rivalry that will run throughout the season.

It will be interesting to see how many Leigh supporters make the trip to Featherstone on the night of Monday 7th February. I’m sure they will want to travel in big numbers to make themselves heard, given that the Rovers fans (or flat cappers, as they are generally known these days) are extremely vocal in support of their team.

At the weekend both teams limbered up for the new season, with Leigh taking St Helens all the way in Alex Walmsley’s testimonial game on Friday night, while Rovers defeated Wakefield Trinity at home on Sunday afternoon.

Rivalry is what sport is all about.

So the clash on 7 February is a night that I think we can all look forward to with keen anticipation.

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