Battye eyes Super League return

Eddie Battye has his sights set on a third successive season in Super League – and he’s hoping it’s with London Broncos.

The popular prop was an ever-present as the capital club fought a spirited but unsuccessful battle against relegation in 2019.

And after this year’s Championship campaign stalled due to Covid, he went on loan to Wakefield, playing eight times.

The 29-year-old former Sheffield man is now back at London, who are among the clubs bidding to fill the top-flight void left by Toronto.

And Battye, contracted until the end of the 2021 season, believes the Broncos have as strong a case as any of the six sides involved.

“I’m not knocking any other club in the running for the 12th place, because there is some strong competition and each can put a case forward,” he said.

“From our point of view, we’ve been in Super League more recently than any team in contention, and we were far more competitive than most people thought we would be.

“We took the survival fight right to the last match, and we just ran out of steam, which was a huge disappointment for everyone involved.

“If we can get back in, I think the lessons we learned last time would make us stronger, and I think we did enough to merit a second crack.

“Looking at the bigger picture, when you talk about expansion, I think it’s important that the biggest city in the country is represented.

“The club is in as good place, paying at a decent stadium (the Broncos share with Ealing Trailfinders RU) and with a well-established development system.

“There is certainly an interest in Rugby League. There are quite a number of players from London throughout the game, and there’s a lot more talent to draw on.

“Having a Super League side in the city would keep the profile if the sport high, especially with the World Cup, which will bring more promotional opportunities, coming up.”

Battye says his Wakefield stint heightened his own desire to keep playing at the highest level possible.

“With my own club having no games, it was great to get the chance to go out on loan, and I really enjoyed my time at Wakefield,” he added.

“I think I proved both to myself and others that I can hold my own in Super League, and I’d love another season in the division.

“I signed my contract before Covid and in the belief that we could have mounted a genuine bid to get back in at the first attempt, but of course we didn’t get the chance to do that.

“Not getting back would be a blow all round, and while I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, if the chance to move came around, I’d have to look at it.

“Like I say, I want to play Super League, I’m confident that I’m capable of it, and at this stage of my career, I want to be at that level.”

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