sport

Rea swayed by Broncos potential

Tony Rea has decided to remain in charge of London Broncos, after admitting he is convinced they are on the brink of "something huge".

The Australian initially returned to the Broncos last season in a caretaker capacity before signing a new two-year deal with the club in the summer.

Rea had not intended to make his return to London permanent - but he was amazed by what had changed in the capital in the six years he was away from the club.

That led him to believe the Broncos could become the biggest rugby league club in the UK.

"This club can be everything. I love what it can be and what it will be," said Rea."It is about establishing something that matters, something that people know about and that has a presence and an identity.

"The club has that but it is a bit under the radar at the moment. Something will happen and then it will be huge.

"It has shown its resilience and toughness. We will get there at some point and when we get there it will be so exciting.

"It is close. It feels really close. My focus is really on the team and to make sure they can smell that and know what they are about.

"The rewards will come for the people who have been so persistent with this place."

Rea believes an end to the club's nomadic existence will help with that development. The Broncos will play at The Stoop again this season.

Despite gaining an average gate last season of just 2,800, a strong start this campaign would help entice supporters back through the gates.

What excites Rea most is the high of support for rugby league in London, where there are 3,000 registered players and 10,000 children play the code.

"One of the big reasons to come was that I wasn't feeling like I was walking down the same road again," Rea said.

"I went to the London rugby league awards night in August and I was blown away by how good it was and by how much is out there.

"There is an army out there that will take the club on. There is some real talent on the streets.

"There are some really well-run competitions and junior leagues.

"That is the backbone of London rugby league and we have been the flagship to be able to do that and do it really well at times.

"We are going back to be a real leader in the way we think and do things."

Rea helped to transform the Broncos' performances after he came in to replace Rob Powell and the target this season is to make the play-offs.

"The potential is definitely there," Rea said.

"The proof comes in when you are under pressure and when you are on top. All those things are in front of us.

"They are certainly showing the work ethic. The desire is there. We have to hold our resolve when it is most needed and take the opportunities when they are presented to us."

Meanwhile, new signings Tommy Lee and Alex Hurst were among the scorers as the Broncos ran in 13 tries in Friday's 74-6 victory over London Skolars in the annual capital challenge.