By LOUIS CHAPMAN-COOMBE
LONDON BRONCOS hooker Bill Leyland says the club is committed to staying in Super League, despite the difficulties of doing that under the incoming IMG grading system.
The capital side had no sooner sealed an against-the-odds return to the top flight by winning the Championship play-offs than they were dealt a hammer blow by being ranked 24th on the initial IMG ladder, with only the top twelve to make the cut.
But Leyland, a product of the club’s Academy, which has since been downgraded to allow the club to divert resources towards areas which will improve their grading score, says the players are focused on things they can control.
“We’ve not really spoken about it (the IMG rating),” he told League Express.
“There’s no point. The best we can do is perform as well as possible out on the pitch and try to win games.
“If we can do that, and if by the end of the year IMG send us down, at least we’ll know in ourselves that we’d have stayed up through performances and results.”
With relegation already on the table no matter where the Broncos finish, there’s an obvious risk of switching off.
But Leyland insists Mike Eccles’ side will do everything possible to stay sharp.
“The worst thing we could do is let it affect our performances,” added the 20-year-old.
“We all want to do the best we can this year and see what happens.”
London have made some waves in the signings market to boost their chances, with the headline acquisition that of Australian prop Rhys Kennedy from Hull KR.
They have also added Sadiq Adebiyi, James Meadows, Gideon Boafo, Robbie Storey and, most recently, Josh Rourke, the former Whitehaven fullback, who had been signed by Batley.
Their arrivals, along with the retention of a string of players, has filled Leyland with optimism.
“We have a strong squad and I believe that if we start well, we can kick on,” he continued.
“But I also think we’ve got that togetherness that means that if it didn’t go well in the first few games, then we’ll get it right at some point.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really hit form in April and May, so I think there’s every belief in the squad that we can be competitive.”