LONDON BRONCOS coach Danny Ward is tipping former team-mates to revive Leeds Rhinos’ fortunes.
Ward and Leeds boss Dave Furner packed down together for Rhinos in the 2004 Grand Final win over Bradford Bulls, but will be in rival camps at Emerald Headingley tomorrow.
The London coach also played alongside Leeds’ director of rugby Kevin Sinfield and Furner’s assistants Chev Walker and Rob Burrow and is convinced Rhinos are in good hands.
“He is a quality bloke,” Ward said of Furner. “Chev and Rob and Kev are all top blokes and they know what it’s like to play for Leeds and to wear the jersey.
“I’ve heard a lot of good stuff [about Furner as a coach] and there’s no doubt he’ll turn it around. It takes time to put a stamp on a team and get things working the way you want them to, but he will get things right.
“It is ridiculous people are writing them off. They have had a tough start, but it’s early days and you write Leeds off at your peril.”
Ward played 108 Super League games for Leeds from 1999-2008.
“It’s always good to go back to your old club and see some familiar faces,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ve been to Headingley since I last played there in 2011 so it’s exciting to be going back.
“It’s a good stadium, there’ll be a big crowd and there’s no better than Headingley under lights on a Friday night.”
London were due to head north tomorrow having won two of their opening six games, at home to Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors.
“We have done all right,” Ward said. “There’s no pressure on us.
“Nobody expects us to win. There’s a bit more pressure on Leeds, playing at home, and hopefully we can go and enjoy ourselves without that pressure.”