Leigh Miners Rangers can confirm that the Challenge Cup derby tie against Wigan St Patricks will be the Ladbrokes focus game for round one, and we are set for more huge news surrounding the fixture in the coming week.
This massive news means that the actual Challenge Cup trophy will be paying a return visit to Twist Lane after previously appearing for Miners’ tie against Leeds University back in 2007.
Alongside this, Ladbrokes, who are the official sponsor of the competition, will be adding their own theme to the ground on match day.
There will be Ladbrokes branding around the perimeter of the pitch, Ladbrokes post and corner flag protectors, eight Ladbrokes branded Challenge Cup balls which will be used for the warm-ups and the match, Ladbrokes Challenge Cup try/no try cards and large pitch flags for 15-20 of the club’s juniors to carry.
The betting company will also be providing free standing branding, which will be placed in the club house, for post-match interviews and their own external PA system and announcer.
Miners’ head coach, Jason Seddon, admits he’s proud to be involved in the Challenge Cup.
“It’s a competition with an illustrious history that provides great opportunities to all the teams involved in it for various reasons,” he said.
“As a young player, I was fortunate enough to play before the 1985 final at Wembley, so to now be a coach in the competition that holds some great memories for me personally is something I’m really looking forward too.
“The fact that I also get to do it with the club I grew up playing rugby league at just makes it that bit more special.”
Seddon realises it’s a tough first competitive game in his new role, but he’s relishing the prospect nevertheless.
“It’s a superb fixture to be involved in at any point in the season, but I suppose all factors considered, and with it being my first game, it does add to the occasion,” he added.
“Our preparation is ticking along, numbers are healthy, we have a few new faces on board and all the lads seem to be enjoying it. We just need to keep doing what we are doing in training for now.
“Being at home in the focus game brings a number of benefits, so it’s important when you look at it from a club perspective.
“We hope there will be a good crowd on, which is likely given it’s a local derby, and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the club, promote our generous sponsors, who support us year on year, and put a fantastic day on for all our members, both on and off the pitch.”
Please note that the official confirmation of this now means the tie will kick-off at 13:00pm on Saturday 28 January, as opposed to the original time of 14:30pm.
The match will also be officiated by a grade one referee.
With the added entertainment and excitement of the local derby a big crowd is expected and all supporters are encouraged to get down early to enjoy the day.