JOHN Duffy is under no illusions about the size of the task facing Leigh in the Betfred Championship next season.

But the Centurions boss believes Toronto’s promotion to Super League will even the playing field in the sport’s second tier for 2020.

Toronto finished 12 points clear of second placed Toulouse, 16 in front of Leigh and lost only one of their 27 league fixtures.

“It will certainly be exciting because most clubs will be thinking like us that it is the right time to have a push,” said Duffy whose squad returns for pre-season testing and team meeting on November 4.

“It will be tough and it could even come down to points difference. There will be plenty of teams in the mix.

“London have come down but they will be re-building. Toulouse will go big again while Whitehaven will be a tough place to go.

“Then there’s ourselves, Featherstone, Halifax, York while Swinton are on the up as well.”

Widnes Vikings won 14 games but finished fourth bottom in 2019 after losing 12 points for going into administration.

Even without the deduction the 28 points would have only placed them eighth.

However, the appointment of former Australia Test coach, Tim Sheens, to succeed Kieron Purtill, should ensure the extra competitiveness of the 1895 Cup runners-up next year.

“Widnes have done really well to get a coach of the quality like Tim Sheens with what has happened at the club,” agreed Duffy.

“He will use all his experience to try and get them where they need to go.

“But I think they would always have been contenders before Tim’s arrival.

“So, I don’t think anyone will run away with the comp next year.”

Leigh have yet to announce any new signings for 2020 but are committed to launching a sustained challenge for promotion.

“We have got plenty of irons in the fire and hopefully we can start announcing soon,” said Duffy.

“There is chopping and changing at most clubs in pre-season. But we will keep most of the squad together.”