Jarred Bassett’s remarkable journey from amateur rugby to Super League with London Broncos

John Davidson
Jarred Bassett London Broncos

Photo courtesy of London Broncos

Just four years ago Jarred Bassett was playing in the amateur ranks for Wests Warriors in the Southern Conference League and now he’s in Super League with London Broncos – proof that sporting dreams can really come true.

The Australian made his top flight professional debut off the bench in round two against Catalans Dragons at the grand old age of 32.

It had capped off a remarkable rise for the tattooed centre from the Gold Coast, who remains a part-time player who also works as an electrician during the day.

Bassett first relocated to the UK a decade ago, one of the many thousands of Aussies who move to the capital each year keen to experience life overseas.

“Just to travel really, I didn’t move here to play footy,” he explained to Love Rugby League. “It’s my 10th year now and when I moved here I was 23 and I kind of just moved to see what was happening, get out and see the world.

“I ended up playing for Wests Warriors for five years and then eventually had a crack at (London) Skolars, and here I am now. It’s four years, four leagues.

“In 2021 I was in the Southern Conference League. In 2022 I was in League 1, in 2023 the Championship and 2024 now in Super League.

“I was speaking to my mum about it and she said ‘are you playing in Super League?’ and I was ‘yep’. And she said ‘what?!’.”

Bassett admits he dreamed of playing in the NRL as a youngster living in south-east Queensland, but had shelved those thoughts by the age of 11.

“Maybe when I was quite young, those were the dreams when you’re super young,” he said. “But I put that dream of Super League or the NRL away a long time ago. I was just playing footy to play footy.

“That’s why even my mum was like ‘are you playing Super League?’, and I was like ‘yep, that’s crazy’. I feel like I accidentally made Super League, I guess!”

How Dean Parata helped lure Jarred Bassett to London Broncos

Dean Parata London Broncos Alamy
Dean Parata in action for London Broncos

The outside back made his name as a full-back and centre for the Acton-based Wests Warriors, before earning a deal with London Skolars in 2022.

He thrived in the third tier, bagging 19 tries in just 16 games. But it was through a chance meeting forward Dean Parata, who was once a high school classmate more than a decade before at famed rugby league nursery Keebra Park High School, that he got offered a spot with the Broncos.

“It was funny, I hadn’t really seen Dean since high school and he just contacted me while I was at Skolars and we kind of got to talking and he’s the reason I ended up going to Broncos,” Bassett said.

“He used to get some of the Broncos players back to Skolars, when they weren’t playing for the Broncos, and then must have said I was playing with those guys, I went to school with him.

“He must have gone and spoken to Mike (Eccles, Broncos coach) about it, he contacted me and asked if I wanted to have a shot at the Broncos, and then he gave me Mike’s details and I just went from there.”

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An electrician by day, Super League player by night

Bassett did not disappoint in the Championship last year, crossing for 17 tries in 32 appearances for the Broncos.

He then started in the centres as London upset Toulouse 18-14 in the Championship Grand Final in October to sensationally snare promotion into Super League.

A month later Bassett signed a one-year deal with the Broncos, and after a foot injury ruled him out of round one, he made 33 metres and two tackles busts against Catalans and is now a fully-fledged Super League player.

The three-quarter is one of the small number of the London squad who has remained part-time, working away from playing in the top flight.

“I’m an electrician, that’s my daytime job,” he explained.

“I still work Monday to Friday and then train once on Thursdays nights with the boys, Saturdays with the boys and then on Tuesdays we do our own thing as a part-time group. There’s about five of us but it doesn’t really seem to have affected us and the team too much.

“When we’re there we all get on like we’re there all the time anyway. I’m quite lucky with my job as well.

“As I’m just a contractor I can take work off at a moment’s notice whenever I want. If we play on a Sunday and I’m a bit buggered on a Monday, I can take the day off.

“My job is not too rigid which is good. I don’t need to request time off in advance, when I don’t want to be there I don’t go in.”

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‘I think everyone doubted us last year and look how far that went’

It has been a tough start to Super League life for the Broncos in 2024, with losses to St Helens and the Dragons in the first two rounds.

This Sunday they head north to take on fellow strugglers Hull FC.

Bassett believes London can still spring some surprises this season.

“We want to win as many games as we can,” he insists.

“You never want to write yourself off and we never will. I think everyone doubted us last year and look how far we went. We’re aiming to do as well as we can.

“Wooden spoon is definitely the chat you hear, on any post or web reading but it’s not our mindset. We’re going to put our best foot forward and we’re going to surprise a few teams.”

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