The Broncos, who are London’s only Super League club, are three games into their first season since being rebranded – previously, they were Harlequins RL – and, although they remain winless, there have been some promising signs in recent weeks.
Craig Gower, who played 238 games during 11 years for Penrith in the NRL, representing his state and country along the way, was the Broncos’ star off-season recruit, admits the rejigged line-up has had to learn on the job.
“With the new players coming in – I think we’ve signed 10 guys – there’s a fresh feel to the squad but we really feel that we can achieve something,” Gower says of the influx of new talent, which includes two players from Manly’s NRL premiership side in Michael Robertson and Shane Rodney, as well as two other Australians, Michael Witt and Mark Bryant, cherry-picked from the now-defunct Welsh franchise, the Crusaders.
Meanwhile, Broncos cheif executive Gus Mackay remains hopeful that the rebranded Broncos will attract a new crowd, particularly London-based antipodeans keen for their fix of rugby league.
“There’s a market for it – Australians and Kiwis love their rugby league and I don’t think we’ve been fully aware of that market,” Mackay says. “People who come to London for a number of years and still want to watch some rugby league,” Mackay says. “We just want to let people know, it’s on your doorstep – you can come and watch it on a Saturday afternoon. To the man on the street, here’s a big game for you to come and see.”
The Broncos host Huddersfield on Sunday, February 26 at Twickenham Stoop. Kick-off is at 2pm and tickets are £15. Check londonbroncosrl.com for more information.