News / Rugby League

Neil Jukes: Age balance key for Leigh Centurions in Super League

Leigh are back in Super League after a 12-year hiatus. Photo credit: Leigh Centurions TV.

Leigh Centurions head coach Neil Jukes insists the blend between youth and experience at the club this year is essential.

New recruits Glenn Stewart, Eloi Pelissier, Antoni Maria and Atelea Vea all have international caps to their name with Australia, France and Tonga respectively.

James Clare has both Super League and Championship experience whilst James Green made over 80 appearances for Hull Kingston Rovers but the pair have yet to play at international level.

Other newcomers Ryan Hampshire, 22, and former Hull KR winger Dave Thompson have also represented England at Academy grade and Jukes believes there is a nice and suitable mix of age groups in his side.

“I think we have got a real good balance this year,” Jukes said.

“We have got some players who have just dropped out of Super League clubs and come straight here and it’s the run of the mill.

“We have got some guys who have been with us through thick and thin in the Championship and have not been involved in the week-to-week Super League heckle that we are going to get into so it is a good challenge for them.”

Leigh have surprised many in their start to the season, winning three out of their first six fixtures with two of the wins coming against St Helens and Warrington Wolves.

However, the former Ince Rose Bridge boss claimed the hardest part of Leigh’s Super League journey will be the bank holiday weekend.

The Centurions travel to Hull FC on Friday 26 May and play hosts to Castleford Tigers the following Monday.

“The two games over the four days in May will be difficult,” he added.

“There will also be a lot of five day turnarounds so there is no consistency whereas with the Championship it is Sunday to Sunday.”

Next up for the Greater Manchester outfit is an away trip to The Beaumont Legal Stadium as they face Wakefield Trinity tomorrow, with an 8pm kick-off.

 

 

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