Leigh Centurions back in the Super League for 2021

Leigh Centurions stadium at the Leigh Sports Village. Credit: PA

Leigh Centurions will play in the Super League again next season after being selected as the 12th member of Ruby League's top division.

Leigh, who were relegated from the Super League in 2017, were one of six clubs vying to replace Toronto Wolfpack, who withdrew from the league in July - citing financial reasons.

Toulouse Olympique, Bradford Bulls, Featherstone Rovers, York City Knights and London Broncos were the other clubs bidding for selection.

Leigh have not played in Super League since they were relegated in 2017, but had won all four of their games in this year's curtailed Championship campaign.

Lord Caine, leader of an independent panel charged with selecting which of six remaining applicants would be promoted, announced the decision on Sky Sports News.

Lord Caine said: "Each of the six applicants was judged strictly but fairly against the agreed criteria. All were of high quality and I would like to pay tribute to the clubs for that."

Leigh will be hoping fans will be allowed into the stadium once the seasons kicks off in March. Credit: PA

Club Owner Derek Beaumont said: “I would like to thank Lord Jonathan Caine and the six members of the panel for their dedication to this process and the robust manner in which they have approached this. I always had complete faith that they would provide a fair and independent review with the best interests of the sport their sole objective.

Mr Beaumont added: “I would like to thank our fantastic supporters Lord Peter Smith, Andy Burnham, James Grundy MP, David Molyneux and Becca Heron for their letters of support which set the tone for our application document.

"I would also like to place on record how vitally important Leigh Sports Village and in particular Simon Toon were to the application and its success.

"The Leigh Sports Village is, in my opinion, unrivalled in the game and we are extremely privileged to receive the support that we do from them and their vast resources that produce an incredible playing surface.

"I know they will be delighted to see the stadium again used for what it was originally built.”

The new Super League season will begin in March.