RFL could take control of London academy

The RFL could take over control of the London Broncos‘ academy in order to ease the club’s financial burden.

Talks are continuing over the Broncos future – they are still without a home for next season, but it is believed an investor is waiting in the wings to back a squad made up of predominantly local players, if they can cut costs.

It has led to discussions with the governing body, who already operate successful academies in Cumbria and the North East, in partnership with local professional and amateur clubs.

Speaking to Running Rugby, the RFL’s communications manager John Ledger said: “There is a meeting on Friday with some of the RFL’s directors and the proposal is in its infancy at the minute but it is currently working well in Cumbria and the North East.

“Every Super League club currently has to run an academy and there are already plans in place for 2015 for the number of academies to come down because it makes no sense for Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers to both run academies given the costs involved.

“There are economies of scale to be gained from having shared academies in Hull or certain parts of West Yorkshire and the North West, so that clubs aren’t fighting for talent from the same pool and driving up costs. We are at quite an advanced stage in terms of working out a formula for that to happen.

“There is a real awareness that, whilst the London Broncos as a Super League club have issues, that shouldn’t unduly damage the great work that is being done elsewhere around the London area.

“So, rather than the Broncos running their own academy as they do now, it might be in the best interests of everyone going forwards if the running of that academy fell to the London Rugby League group.”

It is the young players that those in charge, both at clubs in and around London and at the RFL, are most concerned about in terms of any knock-on effect or fallout from the ongoing problems being experienced at the Broncos.

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