LEIGH Centurions have been handed a mouth watering season’s opener against Toronto Wolfpack when they bid to regain their Super League status in 2018.

That means a first competitive coaching return to the Leigh Sports Village for the Canadian club’s ex-Centurions’ boss, Paul Rowley.

The Wolfpack squad, who begin pre season training at a new Manchester base next week, are packed with ex-Leythers including: Ryan Brierley, Tom Armstrong, Greg Worthington, Fuifui Moimoi, Jonny Pownall, Liam Kay and Richard Whiting.

The first of three meetings against the newly promoted Kingstone Press Championship newcomers takes place on Sunday, February 4. The return match will be in June.

Annual pitch renovations at LSV mean the Centurions face five away games on the trot in June and July before they end the Kingstone Press Championship campaign with home fixtures against Swinton Lions and Sheffield Eagles.

Leigh will be seeing plenty of former boss Rowley after confirmation this week of the 2018 Summer Bash fixtures.

After just one appearance at Magic Weekend, it’s back to Bloomfield Road, Blackpool for the Centurions.

“I worked with Paul for many years but in sport things happen and people go different ways,” said Jukes.

“Paul has gone on his journey and I have carried on with this one. But it’s just another 80 minutes game of rugby, albeit one with two valuable points to the winner.

“But it (the Fylde Coast meeting) was probably inevitable. It’s a game between two sides who have got the biggest playing budgets in the division.

“I am sure everyone is looking forward to it but it is a fair way off yet.

“We enjoyed Magic last season and Summer Bash before that was very good as well.”

Publication of the fixtures will make hard viewing for some after 2017’s top flight schedule.

However, Jukes says: “As head coach, I had an unbelievable year. On paper, because of what happened, it looks like it was a failure.

“But in my eyes I thought we added a great deal to Super League. Now, what lies ahead isn’t daunting and I don’t wake-up terribly distraught.

“It will be a tough competition because it gets stronger every year and next season will be no different.

“It’s just about making sure we look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. “

Ticket prices for the 2018 Summer Bash cost £25 for an adult day ticket and £40 for the weekend and can be purchased by visiting rugby-league.com/tickets or by calling the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 113.

Hooker Liam Hood has agreed a new two-year deal keeping him at the club until November 2019.

“Liam enjoyed a solid season and I still think there is a lot more to come from him,” adds Jukes.

“With some of the staff on the performance side, I think we can take him to a new level.”

Hood has missed the Bravehearts’s World Cup campaign after undergoing knee surgery at the end of last month.

“That will rule him out until close to Christmas,” added Jukes.

“We need to get some rehab into ‘Hoody’ to make sure he is ready for the start of next season.”

In another hectic week, Leigh have confirmed the departure of assistant coach, Paul Cooke to Doncaster Knights rugby union club as skills and backs coach.

“Paul has left on good terms,” added Jukes.

“As well as being a good work colleague, he became a good friend and someone I will keep in touch with.”

*Former Leigh and Wales hooker Sean Penkywicz has retired after Toronto decided not to retain his services for 2018. ‘Penky’, 35, played 226 career games including stints with Halifax and Huddersfield.