After winning 10 matches in the Super League this season, the London Broncos could have been forgiven for thinking that their top tier status would be secure. Relegated on points difference last week, they became arguably the best ever side to go down and to top off their misfortune, they won more points than any relegated side in Super League History.
At the start of the season, there wouldn’t have been many tipsters who could have anticipated the drama that would unfold over the following 29 games. Huddersfield and Hull KR were being tipped by many as the value bet for relegation, with London not even entering into the equation for most punters. Given the strength of their squad, and their unrivalled points tally for a relegated side this season, Sporty Trader’s tipsters have them amongst the favourites for an instant return to the Super League – you can find out more about their fancies if you click here. One thing is for sure, however – London have a lot of rebuilding to do.
More than half of the Broncos squad will be plying their trade elsewhere for next season, with many other star players expected to follow suit. Ryan Morgan, James Cunningham and Brock Lamb are amongst the names touted with moves to potential Super League suitors – whilst the club would also do well to retain the services of Rob Butler.
One thing that will work in the Broncos favour, is the excellent academy they have at the club. They have the fifth best U19 side in the country, but will this be enough to compensate for the fact that the club will lose £1m in funding? Only time will tell.
The team that was relegated was made up of players from up and down the country – Hemel Hempstead, Northampton, Bryn-y-Baal, Widnes and Newcastle to name just a few of the cities that the Broncos players originated from. However, their confirmed relegation means that the club may now have to look closer to home for the men who are going to be duly tasked with quickly regaining their Super League status. Coach, Danny Ward says that the club will come stronger and has claimed that, “We produce good kids, and that’s the future of London.”
The one saving grace for London is that they are in a solid position to transition into the part-time model if required – certainly more-so than in any of their previous relegations. Whilst Super League no longer has a club from the biggest city, the London will always remain fond of their club. Let’s see what 2020 brings.