Talking Rugby League: London Broncos’ superb promotion – but challenges to come

I MUST admit to being conflicted by the Championship Grand Final on Sunday afternoon because I wanted both Toulouse and London Broncos to win the game.

I would be delighted to see both clubs in Super League and I’m disappointed that we haven’t moved to a 14-team Super League so that both could be accommodated.

As it is, the Broncos secured a famous victory, just as they did at the same stage five years ago when they travelled to the late, lamented Toronto Wolfpack and ground out a victory at the Lamport Stadium.

Alex Walker, Will Lovell and Rob Butler played for the Broncos in both those games and I send my congratulations to them and the club as a whole.

It’s hard to emphasise just what a great job their coach Mike Eccles has done at the Broncos this year, which he has achieved partly through some very astute recruitment, both on the coaching and the playing front.

One of his smartest moves was to go for sacked Keighley Cougars coach Rhys Lovegrove and it’s interesting that the Cougars were relegated after dispensing with Lovegrove’s services. That looked a bad move then and it looks even worse now.

The Broncos now face a major recruitment campaign when virtually every other Super League club has already recruited for next season.

For that reason I genuinely believe that a promoted club should receive the benefit of having more than one year in Super League without the fear of immediate relegation.

I feel sorry for Toulouse, who have come so near and yet so far and I hope they will not be deterred from competing again in 2024 while trying to secure an ‘A’ grade in the new IMG world of Rugby League.