London Broncos close in on new home at AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane

London Broncos are closing in on a new home at AFC Wimbledon – the 10th since the club’s formation in 1980 – but are set to play “on the road” when the season gets underway with the Challenge Cup in five weeks’ time.

The Londoners have yet to announce where they will be playing in 2021 but it will not be in Ealing, which has been their home for the last five seasons, after chief executive Jason Loubser revealed the Trailfinders Ground would not be acceptable to Super League.

The Broncos, who were relegated from Super League in 2019, lost out to Leigh in their bid to fill the 12th place in the top flight for 2021 left vacant by the demise of Toronto but hope to gain promotion by winning the Championship.

The club have signed a three-year deal to use Rosslyn Park as their new training ground for the first team, while the club’s academy and scholarship teams will both train and play at Richmond.

London have been in negotiations with the Dons Trust, owners of AFC Wimbledon, to share the new Plough Lane stadium and a 10-year deal, with an early break clause for either party, has been on the table for some time during a consultation period.

The Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing has been home to London Broncos since 2016

The fixtures for the 2021 Championship season will be released on Sunday and the need to find a new home has become more pressing after the club were drawn at home to Keighley in the first round of the Challenge Cup on the weekend of March 20.

If successful, Danny Ward’s men will also be at home in the second round a week later to either Sheffield Eagles or York and the coach says he is happy with the temporary arrangements that have been put in place.

Ward said: “Everyone is aware of Wimbledon and that will be, in time, fantastic for the future of the club but there are procedures to go through and we have to respect that.

“Until that is sorted, I am really happy with the venue we have sorted for playing our games. It is exactly what we need for these difficult times where we will not have the Broncos faithful behind us.

“It’s out of our hands, we are just fully focused on the rugby and the things we can control. Just give us a patch of grass and some goal posts and the boys will be ready to go.”

The opening rounds of the Challenge Cup will be played behind closed doors but there are hopes fans may be allowed back into matches when the Championship season gets under way over Easter.

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