LEIGH coach John Duffy believes the Championship has gone up another level with the return of the likes of the Bulls.

The former Scotland international brings his Centurions side to Odsal this weekend for another eagerly-anticipated encounter.

Leigh are currently two points ahead of the Bulls after back-to-back wins.

READ MORE: John Kear looks ahead to Leigh clash

But Duffy is expecting another tough clash in a division he feels is continuing to improve all the time.

He said: “I said when I was playing Championship that it got better every year and it’s kept improving every season I’ve coached in it.

“It’s really good to watch at the minute. With the teams involved and the personnel they’ve got this year, with the likes of Bradford back in it, it’s going up a level again in skill and competitiveness.

“There’s clubs who have big followings like Bradford and that can only make it better.”

The Bulls will aim to bounce back from their heart-breaking loss at Widnes – their fourth defeat since winning promotion. But Duffy expects John Kear’s side to be in the mix this season.

“John’s got a big squad,” he added. “He’s done fantastically well since he got the job and I’m sure he will go really well this season.

“He’s a coach that everybody looks up to.

“Bradford have made good signings, so have Toronto, Widnes dropped down but stayed full time and Halifax and Featherstone have both got big squads.

“That’s why the Championship is so competitive and you can’t take a minute off all season or you’ll get punished.

“But it’s exciting and it’s good to see the game getting better to watch.

“Over the last two or three years, I think the Championship has raised its standards. You saw that in the qualifiers last season when every game was really competitive.”

Duffy took the Leigh helm after leaving Featherstone and admits it has been a rebuilding job after their period of financial turmoil.

“It’s been really tough but I’m excited by it. I played a lot of games for Leigh in my career so it’s good to be back.

“I knew what was going on at the time and was glad the club got saved.

“It’s been good to get a squad together and we go out there and enjoy it now.

“I’ve got a squad of players that want to play for the badge and that’s really important. Hopefully we we’re competitive to play the whole 80 minutes against the full-time team.”