JOHN Duffy has added his own gratitude to Leigh fans for backing the club through some of the sport’s most challenging times.

But Centurions head coach and the club were still playing a waiting game as the Journal went to press to discover if there will be any on field action this year

Further talks took place on Tuesday to discuss the viability of the Rugby Football League organising an autumn tournament with Leigh, through owner Derek Beaumont, one of the prime movers.

Championship rivals Featherstone and York have opted not to take part.

However, it is understood Centurions, Bradford, Dewsbury, Batley and Barrow remain determined to provide supporters with some live action from October onwards.

A five-team event would still receive a green light from the RFL with even just four clubs getting the nod. A final decision is expected next week.

Initially, it was hoped 16 clubs would participate in an event to help celebrate the game’s 125th anniversary.

Beaumont was fulsome in his praise of Leigh fans and sponsors for the majority’s decision not to request refunds on season tickets.

Now Duffy says: “Things are coming together nicely.

“It is good to have Derek back buzzing and the bit between his teeth again

“The loyalty of the fans has just topped everything off.

“It shows we have the best in the business.

“We probably couldn’t have signed Adam Walker of retained Liam Hood if everyone had wanted their monies back.

“We have got to go out now and do it for them with the generosity they have shown.”

Subject to RFL confirmation on the invitational event Duffy’s squad will return to training at the start of September.

Hooker Hood is so far the only player officially retained for 2021 but names of more are expected in the coming days.

“We have started our recruitment and retention and we are looking forward to having a good pre-season under our belts next year” added Duffy

“A big chunk of the squad will stay together because we have got a good nucleus and I have seen enough to know what kind of people and players they are.

“We don’t want to get rid of 20 players and bring in another 20.

“That said I am really gutted Ben (Reynolds) is off to Toulouse, not with him because he was great for me and bought into what I wanted him to do.

“He got his appetite for rugby back and he was killing it earlier this year.”

“He is a great lad and I wish him all the best with this new venture.

“We won’t jump into signing a replacement We still have Jarrod (Sammut) and Josh (Woods) in that spot so we will be speaking to existing members of the squad and looking who is in the market

“It will be huge (to finalise the squad) We want the lads and their families settled to make sure they are in early so we can introduce them to the club have a good feel for the place before pre-season.”