WHAT a line-up we will have in the Championship next season following key issues that were resolved in this weekend’s big games.
Salford’s 19-18 golden point win in the million pound game against Hull KR and Toulouse Olympique’s 32-22 home win against Barrow Raiders in the League 1 play-off final were the games that determined the destiny of four clubs.
Salford retain Super League status while Hull KR, the side we beat to pull off one of the biggest upsets in Challenge Cup history, are relegated to the Championship.
Toulouse are promoted to the second-tier along with Rochdale Hornets, the only side to beat them in League 1 competition this year, to produce a 2017 Championship that has all the makings of being a real humdinger.
Going to the starting gate will be:
That’s a division of real quality, with the added tit-bit for Oldham and Rochdale fans of a return to derby rivalry, Hornets now able to feature several ex-Roughyeds.
Lewis Palfrey, the latest player to defect to the other side of the A627M, has signed a two-year contract at Spotland despite being offered a new and improved Oldham deal.
He has since been quoted thus: “I had four great years at Oldham but it is professional sport and things change, players move on, that’s what it is.
“There are times when you can get a bit comfy, but now I’m going into a completely different set-up with a different coach, different structures and a different set of lads.”
Roughyeds have announced two new signings so far in prop-forward Ben Davies from Whitehaven, who has 37 Super League appearances on his CV, and half-back Scott Leatherbarrow from London Broncos, who has made 100 senior appearances behind him, most of them in the Championship.