Danny Ward: Expanding rugby league must be done right

Josh McAllister
Danny Ward

Former London Broncos boss Danny Ward says he’s a massive fan of expanding the sport if done right.

The 41-year-old has spent the last 15 years in London, including four years in charge of the Broncos between 2018-2021.

He departed the club mid-way through the 2021 season in the Championship, having previously led the side to Super League for the 2019 campaign.

There’s no doubting Ward’s ambitions for the game, having played a big part in the growth of the sport down south.

However, he believes expansion takes time and must be done right. 

The sport has recently added Cornwall RLFC to its professional ranks in 2022 – entering League 1. Headed up by Neil Kelly, the club have recruited locally and from rugby union, and have enjoyed impressive crowds in their first two home fixtures.

West Wales Raiders continue to struggle in League 1, yet to claim their first win of the season.

Danny Ward on expansion

Ward told Love Rugby League: “I’m massively into expansion if it’s done right. 

“We can’t just keep throwing clubs into areas and hope that they grow themselves.

“It’s tough and it does take time and investment. These clubs need to produce their own players as well and that takes years of getting into schools, developing your junior game and producing players at scholarship and academy levels and having those levels as well as all the other challenges; creating revenue through sponsorships, increasing fan base, it is a very big challenge.

“I certainly am pro-expansion, it just takes a lot of time and we need development officers in these areas spreading the game.

“It’s got to be done right from grassroots up. You’ve got to build from those grassroots up.”

READ MORE: There is light at the end of the tunnel says Cornwall RLFC boss despite defeat

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