Guy Armitage on rugby league code switch & impact of pandemic in London

Toulouse centre Guy Armitage has talked about the story that saw him make the switch to rugby league.

The 30-year-old had just left Ealing Trailfinders before making the switch. He had initially signed on for a trial at Hull FC.

However, Lee Radford had recommended he go on trial to London Broncos, who were playing out of Ealing at the time. That meant he had to move all of his stuff back to where he was, having initially packed up to go to Hull.

Speaking about the experience, he told Love Rugby League: “After Ealing, I actually moved out, took everything away and put it in my parents in Devon for a while.

“I went out on trial with Hull FC for two weeks. Nothing came of it, but Lee Radford said maybe I should go on trial at London Broncos.

“I had to go and explain that to my wife who just quit her job. Which was kind of funny, but we actually had to be exactly where we were.

“Yeah, I went back on loan there for about six weeks. And they signed me for the rest of the season and the season after.”

Guy Armitage on the local pride at London

When Armitage signed for the Broncos, they were in the Super League. It was during the 2019 season when they were relegated on points difference.

Armitage said there was a real buzz around the club with the local players leading from the front.

He added: “There was a massive buzz. So when I when I rocked up there was all those boys come up through the academy together. And there was a real sense that these guys have known each other their whole lives, and they just,  played for each other and gave everything.

“I made my debut with them against Catalans Dragons away. To win that was huge. A week after we had Hull KR, won that and thought we’re on here.

“It went down to that last game against Wakefield and unfortunately went down on points difference. We gave it a good crack but the buzz around the group was awesome. It’s just a shame that couldn’t finish off in the end.”

The impact of the pandemic in London

Like many clubs and organisations around the world, the Broncos certainly felt the impact of the pandemic.

They had started the 2020 season well, and seemed in a good place to challenge at the top and possibly return to the Super League.

However, the league was null and voided as a result of the pandemic. As a result, players moved back up north for 2021, meaning they had to rely on a lot of young players when the league restarted.

The Broncos have since gone part-time and have struggled so far in 2022. They have won just one out of 10 matches so far.

Armitage gave an insight into what happened at the Broncos during the pandemic.

He said: “The season after we got five games in before everything stopped. So we kind of tried to keep ourselves fit in case the season started but I’d say that was massively, massively damaging.

“After the boys have performed well they got picked up by other clubs. Then everyone else was kind of wondering what to do because we still had bills to pay.

“Some boys were like I’m not going to stay in London. I’m three, four hours away from my family so people ended up moving back home and realised they missed home a bit more than they thought.

“After that season, they ended up moving far closer to home than they were. So I think it was a real damaging and costly time for those of clubs. Yeah, it was it was tough.”

READ MOREDanny Ward on London Broncos and difficulties behind recruiting to the capital

About Steven Hughes 375 Articles
Love Rugby League writer.

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