LEIGH have been picked as Super League’s 12th team for 2021.
Six clubs applied to replace Toronto Wolfpack, whose bid to be admitted to next season was voted down.
Featherstone, York, Bradford, London Broncos and Toulouse also applied.
But an independent seven-man panel, three representatives from Super League, three from the Rugby Football League and Lord Jonathan Caine, opted to promote the Centurions.
And the chair of the group admitted the decision was unanimous.
“In total, the panel met four times and held more than eight hours of intensive discussions,” Lord Caine said about the process.
“Each of the six applications was of a high quality.”
Super League Executive Chairman Robert Elstone admitted Leigh stood out.
He said: “The independent panel was impressed by Centurions’ application which scored highly on all published criteria.
“It is a credit to everyone at the club that they were able to produce such a comprehensive submission in such a demanding timeframe.
“The club has a number of top class players with Super League experience, a great stadium and a passionate and committed fan base, all of which will add to the 2021 competition.”
Elstone also believes the way the process was run showed the understanding between them and the Rugby Football League.
He added: “I would like to thank Lord Caine for leading the process.
“It has been robust and well-managed from the outset. The panel was unanimous in what it was looking for from the new club and unanimous in awarding the 12th place to the Centurions.
“The final decision points to both the strength of Leigh Centurions’ bid and the alignment throughout the process between Super League and the RFL.
“The late and unexpected withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack presented Super League with many challenges, in a uniquely difficult season.
“We have dealt with them expediently, comprehensively and objectively and I am pleased we can now look forward to another exciting Super League in 2021.”
London included plans to move to AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane home in their submission.
That is still likely to happen even though they have not won the race.
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