LEIGH are a different side since the one that had its colours lowered by Featherstone in week two of the Championship season.

And at high noon on Saturday it will be time for them to earn their spurs when the two powerhouse teams lock horns in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final at Tottenham.

Half back Joe Mellor is not simply relishing the test posed by Rovers, but also the palatial surroundings and the sense of occasion coming as it does before the Challenge Cup Final.

And after a relatively normal week ahead of the weekend, Mellor says the whole squad is excited to be playing at this showpiece occasion.

It is Leigh’s first major cup final in the capital since Alex Murphy’s team famously toppled Leeds at Wembley 51 years ago – and Mellor is pleased to see the buzz go through the whole club – players, staff and fans.

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Mellor said: “The final is a big game and everyone is really excited for it because Leigh have not been in one for a good few years.

“We get good crowds at our place and we will take a good few to Tottenham at the weekend.

“It will be really nice to play there as part of Challenge Cup Final weekend and that is why everyone is really excited.

“We play on some tough grounds in the Championship and a lot of our lads when they went over to Batley the other week had never seen a pitch like it before.

“Hopefully this week we can enjoy the facilities and the pitch because we know it is going to be red-hot.”

The last time Leigh met Brian McDermott’s Rovers team in early February they suffered a 28-6 reverse at a soggy Post Office Road.

But both sides have strengthened since then – with eyes fixed firmly on the prize of Super League promotion at the end of the year.

Picking up a trophy on the way may give the second half of that tough week-to-week Championship campaign a tonic.

“The whole team has been building each week and we are playing really well and so hopefully we can go and show that on Saturday.

“We are going to keep it simple in training and keep the lads fresh and ready to go on Saturday.

“Leigh v Featherstone is all that anybody talks about but that is probably good for the Championship.

“We can only focus on ourselves and play as well as we can, we are not thinking about Featherstone too much but we know how strong they are.

“Last time we face each other was a good few weeks ago and we’ve both improved since then and brought some players in.

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“Against a lot of the other Championship teams they fall away after the first half. I don’t think that will be the case this week. We’ll have to play for the full 80.”

Mellor, who played with Leigh in the top flight last year, also has Super League experience with both Widnes and Toronto Wolfpack.

He rates the current crop of Centurions as a stronger side than last year’s Super League outfit and relishes playing behind the big pack.

Leigh have bounced back strongly from last year’s relegation with the ambition running through the club.

“Bringing the likes of Lammy in as our head coach helped.

“He has built this platform and everyone has jumped on board.

“I was here last year and I think we have a better squad now than we had last year when we were in Super League and there’s plenty of competition for places.

“We have got to keep listening to Lammy and keep building on our combinations and keep working,” Mellor said.