Eccles hopes to make capital from Skolars clash

LONDON BRONCOS supremo Mike Eccles has welcomed Fiji halfback Henry Raiwalui to the club as he looks forward to Friday’s all-capital pre-season clash against London Skolars at the Honourable Artillery Company (2pm).

The meeting with the League One side at the prestigious venue in the City of London provides the director of rugby and performance with the opportunity to gauge pre-season progress.

Along with Italy centre or second row Ethan Natoli from Newtown Jets, Raiwalui, 33, who has switched from the Jets’ News South Wales Cup rivals Wentworthville Magpies, caught the eye of Eccles during the World Cup.

He played in three of Fiji’s four matches, including the quarter-final defeat by New Zealand, to take his total tally of caps to twelve, and last week jetted in from Sydney.

“We’re pleased to have Henry join us and we’ve got the Capital Challenge against Skolars to look towards as well,” he said.

“It’s good to have that fixture back on our schedule (last year’s was cancelled due to the Covid restrictions in place in London).

“As the weeks you go by, you can see the team get slicker and confidence is building in the squad as combinations come together.

“The lads are working really hard and we’re making sure we keep our heads down so we can do our thing.”

The Broncos begin their second season playing at the Cherry Red Records Stadium at Wimbledon with a home clash against Batley on Sunday, February 5.

“We’ll be doing lots of work behind closed doors as well to ensure we prepare in the best possible way for Batley,” added Eccles, who replaced Jermaine Coleman in May and steered his charges away from the danger of relegation.

“We’ll use every hour available to us to make sure they are ready for it.”

The Skolars clash provides new Australian fullback Jarred Bassett with an early chance to face his former club.

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