London Broncos, under the coaching of former Australian Test centre, Tony Currie, enjoyed a stellar start to July, with wins over Hull and Bradford Northern. Former All Black centre, John Timu was a try scorer in both victories.
London’s playing roster boasted a host of overseas players, including Mark ‘Spud’ Carroll, Terry Matterson, Peter Gill, Greg Barwick and Steele Retchless.
But there were plenty of locals, among them British Test stars, Martin Offiah and Shaun Edwards; Robert Higgins (ex Cambridge rugby union); former Harlequins rugby union player, Kris Chesney; Edward Jennings, Dominic Peters, Thomas Giles (products of the London Broncos’ Academy); Nick Mardon (Boroughmuir rugby union, Scotland); Matt Salter (Blackheath rugby union).
On his return to Australia later in the year, Currie bought a tyre business at Morningside in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, and operates it to this day. He was well paid at London, with chairman, Richard Branson, of Virgin Airlines fame, ensuring that the former premiership winning player (Canterbury and Brisbane) received appropriate remuneration.
Currie maintains direct links with rugby league as part of the staff at Brisbane second division club, Normanby.
Fellow Queenslander, Dan Stains took over as London coach at the end of the 1998 season. Currie had succeeded yet another Queenslander, Gary Grienke.
Meanwhile, it was revealed Brisbane Bronos’ Test winger, Wendell Sailor would play several matches for Leeds Rhinors during his 16 week stint with Leeds’ rugby union counterparts, the Tykes.
St Helens suspended British Test halfback, Bobby Goulding for misconduct. Wakefield Trinity coach,Andy Kelly was fined 7,500 poundsd (5,000 pounds suspended) and banned from the touchline after assaulting a Featherstone Rovers’ steward.
Photo: Greg Barwick