They’ve been written off before a ball has been kicked, and it certainly looks like being a tough season back in Super League for the Broncos.
Their dramatic, if unexpected, promotion with victory over Toronto Wolfpack in the Million Pound Game perhaps leaves them undercooked to compete at the top table, though passionate owner David Hughes will be hoping they can fight bravely against the drop.
Sensibly, they haven’t overstretched themselves in terms of recruitment, instead keeping the faith in the majority of the players that got them to Super League, which means that the development of rugby league players in the capital will be sure to come to the fore in 2019.
The likes of Alex Walker and Will Lovell get the chance to prove themselves in Super League, while youngsters from elsewhere like Jordan Abdull and Morgan Smith have the ability to command regular starting places that they were unable to at their former clubs.
The trouble for the Broncos has been the players that that they have lost. Key man Jarrod Sammut left for personal reasons and ended up at champions Wigan, talented back-rower Matt Davis has gone to Warrington and the departure of forwards Ben Evans and Tom Spencer to Toulouse and Leigh respectively were further blows that their thin squad could have done without.
But, with the Broncos having received criticism in former days for their reliance on overseas imports, it is refreshing to see the way Danny Ward is approaching the campaign, and internally, they are comfortable with being written off.
Captain Jay Pitts said: “We got written off last year and ended up doing something quite remarkable, so who’s to say we can’t do something similar?
“We just need to make sure we take each week as it comes and make that everyone is up for every game, because there are no easy games.
“We’re all absolutely buzzing. It’s really hard to get to where we are, we’ve earned our shot now and we need to take it.”
London start the new season with the visit of Wakefield on Sunday.
Coach: Danny Ward
Assistant: Jamie Langley
Captain: Jay Pitts
Key Man: Alex Walker
One to Watch: Morgan Smith
Ins: Matty Fozard (Sheffield), Nathan Mason (Huddersfield), Greg Richards (Leigh), Jordan Abdull (Hull), Ryan Morgan (St Helens), Luke Yates (Newcastle), Morgan Smith (Warrington)
Outs: Matt Davis (Warrington), Michael Channing (retired), Ben Evans (Toulouse), Kameron Pearce-Paul (Coventry), Tom Spencer (Leigh), Jarrod Sammut (Wigan)
Squad: 1 Alex Walker, 2 Rhys Williams, 3 Ben Hellewell, 4 Elliot Kear, 5 Kieran Dixon, 6 Jordan Abdull, 7 James Cunningham, 8 Eddie Battye, 9 Eloi Pelissier, 10 Mark Ioane, 11 Will Lovell, 12 Jay Pitts, 13 Sadiq Adebiyi, 14 Matty Fozard, 15 Greg Richards, 16 Matty Gee, 17 Matty Fleming, 18 Nathan Mason, 19 Ryan Morgan, 20 Luke Yates, 21 Dan Hindmarsh, 22 James Meadows, 23 Rob Butler, 24 Jacob Ogden, 25 Matt Davies, 26 Sam Davis, 27 Gideon Boafa, 28 Morgan Smith