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“Down to our last 17” – Super League side desperately chasing loan signings

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London Broncos head coach Mike Eccles has revealed that his side are down to their bare bones with just 17 players available for Friday’s Super League loss to Hull KR and he’s now explained they’re desperately looking to recruit.

It’s been a tough season for London who have been thrust into Super League after an incredible second-half of the season push in the Championship which saw them sneak into the playoffs and earn promotion.

Making the playoffs was an achievement in itself given that they were fighting to stay out of the relegation spots early in the season, but the Broncos recovered and managed to earn promotion by securing victories in a gauntlet of away games against Sheffield Eagles, Featherstone Rovers and Toulouse Olympique.

Given their late rise up the league table, they hadn’t necessarily anticipated recruiting a Super League-level squad, which is what Leigh Leopards had done the year prior when they tied down their players on the gamble that they would earn promotion.

As such London has one of the smaller squads in Super League with plenty of the bodies that they do have lacking experience at the top level and now to make matters worse they’ve suffered an awful spate of injuries.

That’s seen them active in the loan market already but they may have to use it once again with Mike Eccles explaining that they travelled to Hull KR on Friday with just a bare 17.

“It’s been a really hard week, a really hard week”, Eccles revealed whilst speaking after the Hull KR game in a presser posted on the club’s YouTube channel.

“We’re down to our last 17 players. If you’re fit, you’re playing. Sheds (assistant coach Ryan Sheridan) was nearly in there, we’re that low on bodies.”

“The first thing is getting some players back. We’re literally down to 17 players, we need some more experienced players back and we’ll hopefully get that.”

Who are London Broncos missing from their Super League squad?

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Credit: Imago Images

There are positives for London though in that they’re expected to have a trio of senior players returning soon whilst they hold hopes to bring back loanee Reiss Butterworth, the hooker unable to play on Friday against his parent club.

Eccles explained: “Reiss Butterworth will hopefully come back, we’ll speak to Hull about bringing him back. He’s one of four (Sadiq Adbeyi, Lee Kershaw and Jack Campagnolo) that you could expect back imminently.”

He did confirm that Butterworth likely won’t be the only loan signing though: “We’re also looking to recruit as well if we can get any business done.”

So far, London have recruited a number of loanees from other Super League sides with Harvey Makin arriving from Wigan and Fenton Rogers from Huddersfield before his arrest and then loan to Bradford Bulls.

Eccles explained that they club hope to bring Butterworth back with the hooker currently buried on the depth chart at Hull KR behind both Jez Litten and Matt Parcell, the latter scoring a hattrick on his 200th career appearance against the Broncos.

Asked about Butterworth, Eccles added: “He’s been great. It shows you where Hull KR are at, they’ve got a great squad with two nines plus Reiss as the third choice really.

“He’s been great for us and he’s enjoying his time with us as well, so I’ll have a conversation with Willie and see what they want to do around that one.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. John Rushbrooke

    April 9, 2024 at 10:38 am

    Perfect advert for IMG.
    Totally unprepared for Super League.
    Overperforming small squad in the Championship
    Financially not particularly secure an infrastructure and crowds which are not going to improve that in the forseeable future.
    Embarrasing score lines which don’t make any of their games attractive and put a skew on the league table.
    Notwithstandig Hull FCs catastrophic downward spiral, the Broncos would have had little chance of staying up and also little chance of featuring in a promotion race the next season.
    The only saving grace is, unlike Featherstone, they don’t seem to be spending money they haven’t got to improve results.
    Whilst it is disappointing for many clubs to have nothing to aim for, we need to remember overall we are selling a product here which has to be as attractive as possible to bring in new supporters. A race for promotion has some effect only for that season. 50 points against each game is not going to keep any of those extra spectators for the season after.

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