LEIGH Centurions head coach Paul Rowley is looking to see a continuation of progress as his men battle it out for team positions for the first league game of the season.
Warrington Wolves are due to provide the opposition at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, kick off 3pm, and a trip to Halifax on February 9 will be the final friendly before Batley Bulldogs come to town a week later in the Championship.
Rowley saw improvement in the 26-16 loss to a strong Salford City Reds side at the weekend compared to the previous week’s narrow defeat to fellow Super League club Wigan Warriors.
He said: “The one word surrounding the squad at the moment is potential.
“It’s about realising that potential. Games are not won on paper and I need to squeeze more out yet, although I was extremely impressed with our middle unit. All our forwards were very effective against Salford and were very solid.
“What we try and do is create good habits. You can iron out a few technical issues which I thought we clearly did in the transition between the Wigan and the Salford games. We were a lot more fluent as a squad. Now we just need to fine tune a few things and put a bit more juice in one or two areas.
“Now is the time. We’ve had two good hit outs and everyone can fight out for it now.
“The team will then be picked on who is putting their hand up and doing their bit for the team. I don’t care if that’s a new player, an existing player, young player or senior player.”
Rowley said as many as 10 first-teamers could see action against Warrington, who are expected to bring a young set of full-time players with some experienced heads thrown in.
“Some of our players will be playing under strict guidelines, and playing for a spot,” said Rowley.
“There are still some spots open, some that I’m not convinced with yet and they will know who they are this week. We’ve also got to make sure people hit the ground running and are match fit.”
Centurions were missing their three first-choice hookers against Salford but Mick Govin looks likely to return for the Warrington fixture and Lewis Foster is also set to continue after catching the eye against Salford.
Rowley said: “Lewis had a really good debut and I think we can look forward to more things from him.
“He’s definitely got a touch of quality and is quite confident. He doesn’t shy away in defence and looks a good player.”