CAPTAIN Jack Lee agrees that arch-rivals Hunslet Hawks are the favourites for promotion from Championship One this year – but insists the bookies don’t always get things right.
The Hawks, who were relegated alongside Lee’s York City Knights side last year, have caught the eye with their recruitment in the off-season in a bid to secure the sole promotion place.
They are many people’s tips to win the play-offs grand final, and they start as bookmakers’ favourites to top the table come September – rated as low as 5-4 by BetVictor.
York come next at 6-4 and fellow traditional club Oldham – so often grand final losers in recent years – are next at 4-1.
Knights captain Lee, however, says odds aren’t always accurate.
“People have to go out and do the business on the field and we’re concentrating on ourselves and making sure our house in order,” he said.
“How many times have you seen favourites not go up? It’s a long haul.
“We have to make sure we’re in the play-offs, and then it’s cup football and in cup football anything can happen. We want to finish as high as we can and hopefully hit top form in the play-offs.”
The Knights kick off their campaign on Sunday at home to Gloucestershire All Golds (3pm), one of several expansion clubs now in domestic rugby league’s third tier, and the rank outsiders for promotion.
The All Golds, coached by former Hull, Castleford and Salford player Brad Hepi, have further added to their squad this week with the signing of student RL winger Reece Rance, to follow that of much- travelled former Sheffield hooker Craig Cook.
Also included in their ranks is veteran former Knights pivot Mark Barlow, who has previously played for Wakefield, Dewsbury, Halifax, Batley and Lyon, as well as Huddersfield, Sandal and Pontefract in rugby union.