WIGAN WARRIORS forward Tony Clubb returns to London today insisting that the club’s high-profile brand is the best way to promote the game in the capital.
The Warriors take on Catalans Dragons at Millwall’s New Den ground, with Clubb, a former London Broncos star, set to play a part.
And he says that his fondest memories of Rugby League in London as a child were when Wigan came to the city, and says the Warriors can boost the profile of the sport significantly.
“It’s the best brand in the sport,” Clubb said.
“I always remember playing for London and watching as a youngster and whenever Wigan came down we had three times as big a crowd – and a lot were just people from London who wanted to watch Wigan.
“They’re one of the biggest clubs and brands in the world and it’s easy to understand why they have such a pull.
“There’s just such a big buzz around them; when I first got into Rugby League Wigan were the first team you heard about, and when you watched them on TV you could see why they were such a big side – and then you got to play against them, it was by far the biggest experience as a youngster, playing Wigan.”
Clubb is hopeful of a decent crowd in Wigan’s first venture to the capital – which will be boosted by a large contingent of his own family.
“It’s great to be going back to London – I’ve just had to order 25 tickets myself!
“A lot of my family don’t get to see me play barring games on TV, so it’s a special occasion for them all to come along and watch me out on the field.
“It’ll obviously be a special afternoon for me.”
Clubb has thrived in the front row in 2015 after initially starting his career as a centre, and he believes he’s producing his finest form since joining the club.
“It’s my best year to date,” he said.
“I had a bit of an injury which came at the wrong time, but I think I’ve kicked on well – I’ve not had a telling off from (Shaun) Waney, which is something!
“I wish I could have stilled played in the backs – I was a bit skinnier back then! I never saw myself as a front-rower, but I love playing there and I’m starting to find some really good form.”
A full report and photographs from today’s game at the New Den will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.