Paul Rowley: Super 8s has brought a 'new lease of life'

By Joe BaconBBC Kick Off reporter
Paul Rowley
Paul Rowley has been in charge of Leigh Centurions since 2008

Leigh Centurions head coach Paul Rowley believes the new Super 8s format has had a positive impact on rugby league.

The Super 8s splits the Super League and Championship divisions into three groups to form Super League, The Qualifiers and Championship Shield.

Rowley, 40, is adamant the change in format has been a success so far.

"There's interest and excitement now around the game. The whole game's got a new lease of life," Rowley told BBC sport.

Super 8s format
Top eight sides in Super League compete for a place in the Grand Final
Four bottom placed Super League sides and top four Championship sides play in The Qualifiers for three automatic Super League spots
Fourth and fifth teams in the Qualifiers have a play-off game for the final Super League place
Remaining eight Championship teams make up the Championship Shield

Unlike previous seasons when Championship clubs had to apply for a licence to compete in Super League, the top four sides now have the chance to gain promotion through The Qualifiers.

Rowley believes the opportunity for promotion has led to clubs such as Leigh, who recently retained their Championship title, to be able to hold onto their best players and increase attendances.

"It's created a lot of belief in our players that they can fulfil their dreams and ambitions within our club, they don't have to seek pastures new elsewhere," he added.

"Off the field it's brought a lot of interest and numbers have increased so it's a good system."

Leigh Centurions welcome Challenge Cup semi-finalists Hull KR on 8 August for their first match in The Qualifiers.

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