Rugby League


27 Jan 2023

2023 Betfred Championship Preview | Swinton Lions

2023 Betfred Championship Preview | Swinton Lions

Swinton Lions will be returning to the Betfred Championship after secure promotion in 2022. The Lions made an immediate return following their relegation in the 2021 season.

Swinton ended the regular season in second position, after they won 16 of their 20 matches.

With seven wins in their last eight league matches, Allan Coleman’s side headed into the play-offs in good form.

Due to their strong league position, Swinton hosted Doncaster with the winner securing a home play-off final spot. The Lions ran in five tries during a dominant 32-12 victory.

The two sides would meet yet again two weeks later in the play-off final at Heywood Road. The close contest saw the two sides head into half-time with the score locked at 6-6. Tries from Jordan Case, Mitchell Cox and Jack Hansen was enough to see Swinton return to the Championship.

Heading into 2023, Swinton saw key players Jack Hansen and Lewis Hatton depart the club for Sheffield Eagles and Widnes Vikings respectively.

However, Swinton have strengthened by recruiting well. Gavin Rodden was a key player for North Wales Crusaders during 2022, he has made the switch to the Lions. Meanwhile, Gavin Bennison also steps up from League One after leaving Rochdale Hornets.

Swinton have recruited players with Championship experience. Josh Eaves made 27 appearances for Newcastle Thunder in 2022. 

Jake Spedding is another new recruit who has featured in the Championship. Spedding made 20 appearances for Featherstone in 2019, before making the switch to the Widnes Vikings.


Transfers In:

  • Josh Eaves (Newcastle Thunder)
  • Myles Harrop (Salford Red Devils)
  • Joseph Romeo
  • Jake Spedding (Widnes Vikings)
  • Gavin Bennison (Rochdale Hornets)
  • Anthony Dyne (Keighley Cougars)
  • Jonny Openshaw (Salford Red Devils)
  • Morgan Burgess (Warrington Wolves)
  • Jordan Gibson (North Wales Crusaders)
  • Andrew Badrock (Leigh Miners Rangers)
  • Scott Parnaby (Rochdale Hornets)
  • Kenny Baker (Widnes Vikings)
  • Gavin Rodden (North Wales Crusaders)
  • Liam Cooper (Whitehaven) 


Transfers Out:

  • Jack Hansen (Sheffield Eagles)
  • Deane Meadows (Oldham)
  • Paddy Jones
  • Matty Wilkinson (Oldham)
  • Max Roberts (Widnes Vikings)
  • Lewis Hatton (Widnes Vikings)
  • Jack Spencer
  • Lewis Charnock (Retired)


One to watch:

Gavin Rodden was a huge player for North Wales Crusaders last year and he will be looking for the same in 2023.

Rodden was a prolific scorer in the second row, and he seems to have continued that form through pre-season. Rodden scored three minutes into Swinton’s friendly against St Helens reserves on Sunday. The forward notched up his second try just before the half hour mark.

The forward could be a key part of the attack and he will have a big say on how Swinton will perform in 2023.

Swinton will start their return to the Betfred Championship on Sunday 5th February, as they will host Newcastle Thunder at Heywood Park. Kick-off is at 3PM.