LIAM Hood is desperate to help ambitious Leigh Centurions’ push for Super League status but fears the dream could be taken away until next year, writes Trevor Baxter.

Owner, Derek Beaumont, is a passionate supporter for the Championship and League One seasons to resume.

But with more than 70 percent of second and third tier clubs thought to have expressed a desire not to re-start 2020 campaigns behind closed doors due to financial implications, a return to action appears to hang in the balance.

However, two working groups have been established by the Rugby Football League to consider the issues surrounding the possible resumption of the sport at this level.

One group will consider the costs and other logistics surrounding matches taking place behind closed doors for broadcast. The other will look at possible revenue opportunities to offset some of those costs.

“We are raring to go,” says dad of two Hood. “We started the season off well and feel we can carry on where we left off.

“We spoke between the players to keep doing what he did during pre-season so we will be fit and ready to go.

“If they said tomorrow we can start again behind closed doors, I would be there getting my boots ready.

“I wish more than anything the season will start back up; not just for myself but for the club and especially the fans who bought season tickets and who were cheering us on.

“But from what I have seen, it looks unlikely it will carry on if 72 percent of clubs say they are happy to scrap the season and start again next year.

“It is gutting for teams like ourselves and Fev who want to push for promotion. But I think they might not bother.”

Scottish international Hood, 28, is a full-time player once more after previously working for his brother-in-law after re-joining Leigh from Widnes last year.

And he says: “The Championship is not totally a full-time environment.

“You still have the part time lads going out to work. There is always that thought of picking something up at work and bringing it to rugby.

“As much as I would love to get back playing, safety has to come first.”

Few teams can have trained as diligently as Leigh since the introduction of lockdown. Hood , when relived of parenting duties, undertakes improvised gym and running sessions, each four times a week.

But he admits lockdown is hard. “Mentally, it is tougher than the physical side,” said the popular hooker.

“All I have done since leaving school is play rugby. I am used to being around the lads and the camaraderie and banter that goes with it.

“Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed being at home with the family; some lads are single and on their own.

“But it does start to get on top of you when you are in the house all day, and only getting out for an hour or two.

“However, we do keep in touch as a group, either for quiz nights or a few beers at a weekend over Zoom. Tom Spencer is top quizzer right now but we are not sure if he has his phone by him.”

* The Challenge Cup and AB Sundecks 1895 Cup finals, set for Wembley on July 18, have been postponed but could be played later in the year. Centurions lost 21-19 at Hull KR in the former competition and had yet to play in the tournament sponsored by Beaumont’s company.