Swinton Lions play host to Leigh Centurions this Sunday at Heywood Road in round six of the Betfred Championship.
The Lions welcome Leigh Centurions to Heywood Road in round six of the Betfred Championship.
For the second consecutive week, Swinton Lions came two-points from at least a draw against Championship rivals, as Halifax’s second half comeback spoiled the party at the MBi Shay Stadium last Sunday.
This weekend, Swinton host Leigh Centurions in what promises to be an entertaining fixture on the rugby league calendar.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the weekend’s action…
Swinton Lions head into the weekend in hot attacking form, having only lost narrowly to both 2018 top four sides Toulouse and Halifax in recent weeks.
Swinton led 16-0 at MBi Shay Stadium before a double from James Saltonstall and another from Steve Tyrer helped Richard Marshall’s side secure the win in a determined performance from the Lions.
Recent performances have proved that Stuart Littler’s side can compete with the best in the league and fans should believe that the win is near.
Leigh Centurions hosted Toulouse in their opening fixture of the 2019 Championship campaign, and claimed a 24-16 victory over the French outfit. They have won two of their five league matches so far and sit seventh in the league. Most recently, the Centurions lost by just one-point to newly promoted York City Knights in a thrilling game of rugby league at Bootham Crescent.
Ex-Swinton captain Andy Thornley joined Leigh during the off-season, who also have a dual-registration partnership with St Helens, which has seen stars such as Danny Richardson and Luke Douglas represent the side.
Swinton Lions have failed to defeat Leigh Centurions in the last 13 meetings, but recent performances could see the Lions end that hoodoo this weekend at Heywood Road.
The Lions’ last victory against the Centurions was an 18-14 Northern Rail Cup win at Hilton Park on 26 March, whilst Kyle Shelford has scored in the last three previous fixtures against the Centurions!
Head Coach Stuart Littler spoke to the media to following Swinton’s narrow loss away at Halifax.
On Mike Butt’s captaincy: “We’ve got six leaders, and three are injured, including two seriously injured with Will Hope and Ben Austin. Rhodri will be back soon. The responsibility passed to the other leaders. Kyle Shelford stood up, Luke Waterworth stood up and I went with Mike Butt as captain as I think he sets standards every week with his actions. He talks well, he’s one-hundred percent committed to this club and to us. He has all the attributes of a leader.”
“We’ve got to keep fighting. Our performances are on the up. It’s a local derby against Leigh. There’s a lot of friends from player to player and coaching staff. We’ve got to be focused on that.
“The supporters were outstanding [at Halifax]. They’ve been outstanding all season. They really cheered the boys on and gave them a lift when we needed it.
“I’m looking forward to bringing Jamie Acton back into the frame. He’s been really good in training and will be going in. It’s a nice game for him to come back for.”
Jamie Acton makes his Lions debut against his former side after signing in the off-season. Liam Byrne, Liam Forsyth and Ollie Partington join on dual-registration from Wigan Warriors.
Swinton Lions to face Leigh Centurions: Matty Ashton, Jamie Acton, Gavin Bennion, Billy Brickhill, Mike Butt, Liam Byrne, Rob Fairclough, Liam Forsyth, Jack Hansen, Frankie Halton, Lewis Hatton, Adam Jones, Jose Kenga, Ollie Partington, Kyle Shelford, Harry Smith, Oscar Thomas, Luke Waterworth, Daley Williams
Leigh Centurions to face Swinton Lions: Jonny Pownall, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh, Martyn Ridyard, Tom Spencer, Micky Higham, Sam Brooks, Toby Adamson, Andy Thornley, Luke Adamson, Joe Cator, Nick Gregson, Mitch Cox, Ben Sims, Luke Douglas, Matty Costello, Liam Hood, Daniel Richardson