22nd November 2019, 13:35 | championship
London Broncos (3/1 regular season winners) are favourites to put the disappointment of 2019 behind them and return to the Betfred Super League at the first time of asking in 2020.
Danny Ward’s side suffered heartbreak on the final night on the season in 2019, being relegated on points difference, but are 3/1 to repeat the feat of 2018 and come out on top in the Betfred Championship play-off final.
The Broncos are closely followed by French side Toulouse Olympique (7/2 Grand Final winners) who crashed out in the Semi-Final stage in 2019. Sylvain Houles has made some impressive additions to his squad, including that of former Samoan International Frank Winterstein (Penrith Panthers), and former Bradford Bulls Winger Jy Hitchcox.
Featherstone came within touching distance of the Betfred Super League in 2019, losing out to Toronto in the Million Pound Game, and with a new coach in the form James Webster, and a number of high profile signings including England International Brett Ferres, the Rovers are 9/2 to go one better this time around.
Leigh Centurions enjoyed a strong finish to 2019, bowing out in the play-offs to Featherstone, and have made a number of strong additions to their roster for the new campaign, including Scotland Internationals Nick Gohe (Lakes United) & Ben Hellewell (London Broncos). If John Duffy’s team can pick up where they left off, 9/2 to finish top at the end of the regular season could represent value.
York City Knights (10/1 play-off final winner) were the surprise package last time around, finishing 3rd in their first season in the Betfred Championship. James Ford has strengthened his options with the signings of the likes of Chris Clarkson (Castleford Tigers) and Danny Washbrook (Hull FC). With a move to the impressive new London North East Rail Stadium on the horizon, Knights fans can be forgiven for dreaming of another memorable season.
In Betfred League One, Barrow (5/2 regular season winners) are the early favourites to lift the League Leaders title. Paul Crarey’s side suffered relegation in 2019, but have managed to keep a strong together for the new campaign with the additions of Carl Forster (Rochdale Hornets) and Lee Jewitt (Hull KR).
Doncaster fell short to Newcastle in the 2019 play-offs, but should be set for another strong year and are priced as second favourites at 3/1. Meanwhile the Thunder are 9/2 to finish top of the pile after a 3rd place finish last time around.
The action kicks off in Dewsbury on January 31st, with Betfred League One starting a couple of weeks later as Newcastle welcome West Wales on February. The Championship is heading back to the beach for the Blackpool Summer Bash in May, with 12 teams running out at Bloomfield Road.
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