London Broncos Academy: Global Success Stories and Super League Dreams

Alumni of London Broncos’ Acclaimed Academy Shine Across the Globe

The London Broncos’ esteemed youth development program has long been a breeding ground for top rugby league talent. Prominent names like Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tony Clubb, Dan Sarginson, Kieran Dixon, and current England internationals Mike McMeeken and Kai Pearce-Paul have all honed their skills within the Broncos’ academy ranks.

Across the world in Australia, another Broncos-nurtured prospect is making waves and chasing his Super League dream. 19-year-old winger James Evans, who recently joined tier 3 side Brothers Cairns for the 2024 season, came through London’s junior development system before embarking on his journey Down Under.

The Brothers club, led by former York player Tim Rumford as head of football, serves as a feeder team to Queensland Cup outfit Northern Pride and North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL. Under Rumford’s guidance, the part-time Brothers side have secured back-to-back premierships, with former England prop George Burgess featuring in their latest Grand Final triumph.

“They are a credit to a system which is seemingly not valued in the slightest by the game in the UK when you look at the IMG rankings and London having no reward for the players they produce,” he said.

Now, Evans is proving to be a key figure for the Brothers, leading the competition’s try-scoring charts with 13 tries in 11 games. As he prepares to return home in September to pursue a degree in Geography at Leeds Beckett University, the young winger is determined to use his time in Cairns as a springboard to secure a contract with an English club and fulfill his ambition of playing in Super League.

Reflecting on his move to Australia, Evans explained, “When our contracts were coming to an end in the London Broncos academy last season, we had meetings about what we’d do next. Chris Baxter, my head of youth and coach at the Broncos, recommended me to Tim at Brothers.”

Rumford, a Yorkshireman who previously worked at Castleford before joining Cairns Brothers in 2019, praised the talent and intelligence of the London Broncos’ junior players.

Despite the challenges faced by the Broncos, including the decision to cease their Elite Academy at the end of last season, the club’s legacy continues to be felt around the world through the success of its graduates. As Evans looks to the future, his story serves as a testament to the enduring quality of the Broncos’ youth development and the potential for players from the capital to make an impact on the highest levels of the sport.

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