LEIGH fans’ hopes of seeing their side in action again in 2020 are still to be realised.

Centurions have yet to confirm their participation in a £250,000 autumn invitation competition introduced after the Betfred Championship and League One seasons were declared null and void.

Other clubs have also yet to show their hands. However, many have already declined an opportunity, even with a possibility of reduced spectator numbers being allowed into stadia in October subject to government guidelines.

To a one, John Duffy’s squad has expressed desire to take to the field again this year despite the removal of promotion to Super League as an incentive.

And Centurions will probably be favourites for a reported £35,000 first prize if the tournament ever gets off the ground.

But entries will fall well short of an original anticipated starting list of 16 teams. It could be another fortnight before final numbers are known.

At that point, however, the RFL will do well to kick-off with eight clubs with an odd number of applicants likely to cause more logistical headaches.

Halifax, Toulouse, Rochdale, Sheffield, Newcastle and Keighley had already confirmed their non-attendance as the Journal went to press.

Leigh’s Championship rivals, Widnes and York, were among clubs still to show their hands.

However, the same two, plus Newcastle, Featherstone and Toulouse withdrew from the Challenge Cup this week forcing RL bosses to redraw the 10 surviving clubs for the sixth round and quarter-finals.

Centurions’ hierarchy has maintained silence on recent events including the club’s intentions for the remainder of the year.

Elsewhere, a Widnes statement said: “At this stage following the cancellation of the 2020 season, the club has yet decided on their participation in it (invitational event) until the full details of the competition has been decided.”

Of their decision not to play before 2021 League One Newcastle, chairman, Mick Hogan, said: “Even with limited crowds returning in October and potential prize money for the Autumn competition the logistical, operational and financial challenges are too great.”

Halifax, who might have fancied their chances of success, said: “The club’s longer-term survival and growth is paramount and the Board feel that this has to take priority, therefore we will not be entering this end of season competition.”

And in their statement Hornets said: “The financial implications associated with returning to play have not changed and the players’ welfare and readiness is not conducive to playing friendly competition.”

On the flip side Bradford, Barrow, Batley and Featherstone appear keen to participate but 2018 Million Pound Games winner, London Broncos, like Centurions hadn’t gone public with their plans.

If sufficient teams come forward then the tournament is scheduled to kick-off on the weekend of October 3-4. It would conclude with a ‘Grand final’ on November 28 or 29.