A dreadful start to the season for the newly relegated Leigh Centurions, has led to the departure of first team coach Neil Jukes as he resigned his post. Despite gaining promotion for the the Centurions in 2016 he oversaw a tough season in Super League in 2017 which culminated in the crushing loss to the Catalans Dragons in the Million Pound Game. This season his side have won just one of their opening four games amid widespread complaints from fans about the nature of their play. The defeat on Sunday to a Toulouse Olympique XIII side, down to twelve men for the entire second half, was the final straw for Jukes who quit the club. Leigh are currently ninth in the Betfred Championship, a long way below the expectations of the chairman and supporters, who had hoped that the side would bounce straight back into Super League in 2019. The season opening loss to Toronto Wolfpack was a rude re-introduction to Championship rugby and the Centurions have managed just a win over the Batley Bulldogs whilst losing to newly promoted Barrow Raiders and top four competitors Toulouse at the weekend. Owner Derek Beaumont stated: "My greatest memory of being involved in rugby league was gaining promotion to Super League and for that I'll be eternally grateful to Neil. He has been more than an employee and I class him as a personal friend. I'm sure he will continue to be that long after not only his involvement in rugby league ends, but also mine." Speculation will now centre around Jukes replacement and whether assistant coach, and former Saints head coach Kieron Cunningham, will get the job as full time replacement.
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