One for the Rugby League Hoppers

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Championship club London Broncos are moving again, to Plough Lane.

Looks as though their last game at Ealing Trailfinders RUFC will be on July 25, against Widnes Vikings.

AFC Wimbledon statement:

Our exciting ground share partnership with London Broncos was officially approved last night (15/7).

Just minutes after Merton council planning chiefs rubber stamped the move, our Chief Executive Joe Palmer said: “This is brilliant news for us and the start of a whole new era in the history of Wimbledon sport.

“We have the chance to build something really special – on and off the pitch. Rugby League is a fast, exciting game and the Broncos will be playing against top teams. It’s a privilege to become partners with a club of such pedigree.

“Off the pitch, the Broncos share the same values as us. They very much want to be a valued and important part of the wider community. There’s so much we have in common – not least the fact that we’ve both been searching for a proper home for far too long.

“I really believe the Broncos will help enrich our lives at Plough Lane.”

Joe’s words were echoed by Broncos Chief Executive Jason Loubser, who said: “From our first meetings with AFC Wimbledon, and seeing the early stages of the stadium build, it became obvious to us how special the Plough Lane project was.

“Over the course of the last 12 months we have learnt just how important the stadium is to the club, the supporters and the community of Wimbledon, and the London Broncos are excited to be able to soon call Plough Lane home.

"The community values that are so close to AFC Wimbledon's hearts are the same values we also deeply cherish. We very much want to become a valued part of the surrounding infrastructure and neighbourhood and have spent recent months supporting the Dons Trust with their amazing food-bank project and having our players assist on a weekly basis.”

Dons Trust co-chair Xavier Wiggins added: “We are delighted to welcome London Broncos to Plough Lane. We hope that they can build a successful future at the ground, not only on the pitch by returning to the Super League, but also off it by continuing their excellent work alongside Dons Local Action and others in the community.

“It’s been fantastic to see Broncos players manning stalls and joining community volunteers already and we look forward to both clubs working together for the benefit of local residents in the future.”

Planning officers accepted that the ground-sharing partnership would help both clubs flourish – and therefore be a huge asset to the borough.

“Financially, this will give us the vital funding we need as a football club to help us build a successful team for the future,” added Joe. “But we are not the only beneficiaries of that: the more successful we are, the more people will come to Wimbledon and the more they will spend with our local businesses, in our bars, shops and restaurants.

“The Broncos will bring the same injection of people into the town when they are playing – but they will also offer a very different sporting event to anything ever experienced before in Wimbledon.

“They will generate interest and then excitement and that will also lead to commercial investment. This partnership really is a win-win for everyone and the start of a new era for sport in the borough.”

The Broncos were agonisingly relegated on points difference from the Super League in 2019 and currently play at the Ealing Trailfinders stadium after an almost-nomadic experience, which has seen them share grounds with Fulham, Charlton, Brentford and rugby union’s Harlequins to name just a few.

Joe confirmed that both clubs would now be able to explore the possibility of sharing resources, particularly in the commercial and marketing departments. He added: "There are so many areas where our expertise can complement theirs – and vice-versa – and we’d be mad not to examine that in more detail.

“Between us we can be a real force for good - a beacon on and off the pitch. I truly believe this is the start of a long and mutually-beneficial partnership."
 
Last edited:

Cherryhopper

First Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
2,630
Team{s}
AFC Bournemouth, Sunderland, Barnet, Verwood Town
Broncos may have already played their last game at Ealing, the visit of Widnes this Sunday is OFF due to Covid protocols with seven of their players self isolating.

Has it been confirmed yet that the match vs Toulouse on 8th August will be first at Wimbledon?
 

Westberkspalace

Junior Team Star
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
150
Team{s}
Palace/Didcot T/Epsom and Ewell.
How long before Wimbledon get fed up with the pitch being cut up and Broncos being off on their travels again. They really need their own home and to stay in it. How many fans must they have lost over the years with their continual tour around London and the suburbs. I was at Ealing in May, it was depressing, terrible crowd v Bradford, no programme issued, and a dead atmosphere.
 

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
The feeling in the wider game seems to be Broncos' 40-year race is just about run. Given what little 'rugby' interest there is in London is generally concentrated in the west of the city, relocating to the south seems an odd thing to do. Broncos appear to have put down some roots (community work etc) at Ealing.

Interesting to see, on the leading rugby league forum, several Broncos fans are saying, for them, this move is the straw that's broken the camel's back. They're giving up. When all's said and done, the guy (a chap with a talent for upsetting people, it seems) who has invested many millions in the club over a number of recent years has very little to show for his largesse.

On the subject of shared pitches: I remember the groundsman at Brunton Park, Carlisle, telling me the footballers did far more damage to his pitch than the rugby league lads.

Is the pitch at Plough Lane a hybrid - or is it merely grass?
 

Chris1963

First Team Starter
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
2,370
On the subject of shared pitches: I remember the groundsman at Brunton Park, Carlisle, telling me the footballers did far more damage to his pitch than the rugby league lads.

Is the pitch at Plough Lane a hybrid - or is it merely grass?
Don't know about Plough Lane but Oxford United have a hybrid pitch at Grenoble Road and the use of it by London Welsh was partially responsible for the only match there to have been called off (excluding others which fell victim to fog, snow or frost)
 

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Don't know about Plough Lane but Oxford United have a hybrid pitch at Grenoble Road and the use of it by London Welsh was partially responsible for the only match there to have been called off (excluding others which fell victim to fog, snow or frost)
We're talking about rugby league not rugby union. For various reasons, union causes far more damage to pitches than league.
 

Cherryhopper

First Team Regular
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
2,630
Team{s}
AFC Bournemouth, Sunderland, Barnet, Verwood Town
Last edited:

Chris1963

First Team Starter
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
2,370
We're talking about rugby league not rugby union. For various reasons, union causes far more damage to pitches than league.
Yes, you're right. Union has 15 players in each team on the pitch rather than the 13 in League and the scrums in union must result in the turf being torn up a lot.
 

Steve N

Junior Team Regular
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
111
Tickets are now on sale for the 2022 Betfred Challenge Cup Final which will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday 28 May 2022 (KO 3pm), with the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final being played beforehand (KO 12pm). These will be the first ever Rugby League matches at the state of the art 62,850 capacity stadium, with the Betfred Challenge Cup Final returning to Wembley in 2023.​
appsuite
Be there as Rugby League moves to an exciting new home for 2022 for what is always a memorable day as our fans come together for our traditional showpiece. Buy now with our EARLY BIRD offer and get £5 OFF every ticket with prices starting from only £25 Adults and £10 Under 16s. We hope to see you there at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium!​
 

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Bradford Bulls are to return to their traditional Odsal home after signing an 18-month tenancy agreement with the Rugby Football League.

The Championship side vacated the stadium in September 2019, citing rising maintenance and upkeep costs, and moved in with Dewsbury Rams.

Odsal has been in the RFL's hands since they bought it from the coin in 2012, and was Bradford's home from 1934.

Credit: bbc.co.uk
Bradford Bulls say the Odsal pitch now meets the RFL's minimum requirements. At last! I assume this is turf, along the side and at each end, that will be removed for stock car meetings.

RFL regulations demand at least 88m x 55m, which the Odsal pitch now is. It has 'skinny' 6m in goal areas.

https://www.bradfordbulls.co.uk/article/1133/odsal-pitch-works-completed
 

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Broncos may have already played their last game at Ealing, the visit of Widnes this Sunday is OFF due to Covid protocols with seven of their players self isolating.

Has it been confirmed yet that the match vs Toulouse on 8th August will be first at Wimbledon?
Those 'in the know' at Broncos say the first London game at Plough Lane won't be until 2022. AFC Wimbledon head coach Mark Robinson was a guest at Broncos' Ealing game against Sheffield yesterday.
 
Last edited:

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Four games on September 4 - Wales Rugby League's so-called Super Saturday - at Sardis Road, Pontypridd:

10am (U13 representative game)
South Wales v York & District

Noon (women's league)
Rhondda Outlaws v Cardiff Blue Dragons

2pm (U17 Grand Final)
Aber Valley Wolves v Cardiff Blue Dragons

4pm (Men's Grand Final)
Bridgend Blue Bulls v Torfaen Tigers

Adults £10, concessions £5, children free
 

Dribble!

Reserve Team Sub
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
696
Team{s}
Ipswich Town
3 Rugby League games at Post office Road, Featherstone this Friday - 17 September

3pm - RAF Development v Army Developemnt
5pm - Royal Navy and RAF Combined team v Army Women
7pm - RAF RL XIII v Army RL XIII

Free entry
 

Stoodley Pike

Reserve Team Star
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
1,366
Some information about London Broncos' move to Plough Lane (taken from a circular detailing a recent meeting between club management and supporters):

"The focus will be a multi-pronged attack on several groups including, but not exclusively, families, community club partners, AFC Wimbledon fans and the event seeker. It was explained that making elite sport affordable to families in London was a key part of the plan, with attention going on family season tickets in our community section, which will contain a no-alcohol zone. This will also hopefully give those who prefer not to be around alcohol an opportunity to enjoy the game in separate surroundings.

"Positive discussions have started with our community club partners around their involvement in the community stand, playing curtainraisers and being mascots ahead of first team games. Their feedback has been very good.

"It was explained that several home fixtures will be planned as ‘events’, with specific target markets being catered for to try to attract new supporters via a ‘side door’. There will be other reasons to attend the game such as live music and a ‘theme’ around matches, such as an 80s music event or a street food/real ale festival."

[Broncos said the move from a full-time to a part-time squad was down to an estimated 86 per cent reduction in central funding next season]
 

Latest posts

Top
  AdBlock Detected

NLM relies on advertising to pay the bills to stay online . Could I ask that you disable your AdBlocker for this site. Alternatively if you are a registered user you can remove all ads and get other benefits for as little as £1.50 a month. Just go to your Profile and click on Account Upgrades. Most visitors will see this message only once per visit...... Thanks