Broncos to tackle Super League

London Broncos have answered a call from Leeds Rhinos, agreeing to play the Super League Champions in a friendly ahead of their World Club Challenge clash with Canterbury Bulldogs.

The match will be played this Tuesday night at Headingley and it will become London?s fifth friendly ahead of the 2005 Super League season.

London had already announced a four game friendly program including games against Wigan, Whitehaven, UTC and London Skolars. However, given the Broncos healthy relationship with Leeds, both clubs have found a way to accommodate this additional game, without interfering with existing commitments.

Broncos CEO Nic Cartwright commented: ?We had already agreed our schedule of warm-up games but when approached by Leeds we felt that a game against the champions would be great for our preparation.?

It?s going to be a busy week and every one of our players will get good game time. The team on Wednesday (a hybrid team made up of Broncos and Rhinos) will showcase a number of young stars, including our young players on loan at Hull.?

This additional fixture against Leeds will see London embark on their busiest ever pre-season campaign. Tony Rea commented:

?This gives our players a good opportunity to experience the intensity and game speed at the highest level. It will put a hard edge on our preparation and that?s what we?re after.?

My players don?t like the word ?friendly?. They fully expect, and want, a good, hard hit-out against the very best.?

It?s another step for us to be ready for February 13th, and for Leeds to be ready for the Bulldogs.?

I?ve been really impressed with way our players have come together over the past few weeks. We?ll be very well prepared for our home opener against the Wolves.?

Our game last week against UTC was of a good standard and the experience was well worthwhile.?

Over the past few years London and Leeds have developed a healthy relationship with several players moving between the two clubs on loan, and both clubs are now set to work together on a different front.

The day after the London v Leeds friendly, both clubs will join forces and field a hybrid team to face Whitehaven.

The original plan was for London alone to face Whitehaven, however, now a team consisting of players from both squads, who do not play the preceding day, will take on the Cumbrians.

The Broncos unique system of elite development, whereby the cream of their younger crop are loaned to other top-flight clubs before returning to the capital, has already paid off. After spending two years with Leeds Academy, Joe Mbu has since developed into a Broncos? first team regular.

Broncos CEO Nic Cartwright says the relationship with Leeds is good for both clubs:

"When there are clear benefits both ways it makes perfect sense. Leeds is a very good model for player development and we are very happy to work with them.?

This game, as well as our friendly in the south of France, is also good for expansion and I know we are one of the most proactive clubs in the world on this front.?

London?s schedule of matches ahead of the 2005 season:

? London v UTC 19th January (Result: UTC 28 London 24) ? London v Leeds Tuesday 25th January 7.30pm (Headingley) ? London/Leeds v Whitehaven 7.30pm Wednesday 26th January ? London v Wigan 3pm Sunday 30th January ? Metro London RL Challenge Shield: London Broncos v London Skolars 2.30pm Sunday 5th February