IT’S A hard school, but three Leeds Rhinos players are learning valuable lessons at London Broncos.
Centre Thomas Minns, pictured right, winger James Duckworth, pictured far right, and forward Alex Foster are spending the season with London to gain experience of first team rugby and prove they are capable of holding their own in Super League. With Broncos having lost their five competitive games so far it is proving a baptism of fire, but Foster – who made eight senior appearances for Rhinos last year – reckons the experience is invaluable.
“It is really tough, but we are all benefiting from it,” he said ahead of tonight’s meeting with Leeds at Headingley Carnegie.
“Some of the recent results have shown we are having a tough time on the field, but that’s perfectly natural when you think where we’ve come from.
“We only got the squad together recently and we’ve not really had a pre-season together, but there’s a lot of positives. Up until last week (when Broncos lost 50-22 at home to Wakefield) it looked as if our performances were improving every week.
“All three of us are really enjoying the experience, even Ducky, who has had a couple of injuries. We’ve all had some game time and we are benefiting from it.”
Broncos have already been written off as near-certainties for relegation this year, but Foster, right, insists they are capable of staying up.
“It will be tough,” he accepted. “But we have played against some tough teams and we were leading at half-time against Warrington.
“We have just got to play to our strengths and put right the things we did badly last week.
“The belief is still there that we can turn it around and get some results this year – if not this week, then the next.
“We are still positive going into games and I think we have got every chance of staying up.
“There are other teams struggling at the bottom and it is all up for grabs.”
Tonight’s game could be London’s toughest so far, with Leeds unbeaten in five and boasting the meanest defence in the competition.
Foster was a member of the London side beaten 62-10 at Headingley in pre-season, but he is confident they can make much more of a game of it this evening.
“It is a special game, going back to play against our parent club,” he said.
“I would love to show the coaches and everyone back home what I am capable of and what I am bringing to the London side.
“But the main thing is to play as a team, get our structures right and hopefully help the team get a result.”