It’s a Rugby League double-header day in the capital tomorrow (Saturday (18 September), with Wests Warriors meeting London Chargers in a Southern Conference Grand Final local derby, and Medway Dragons facing Brixton Bulls in the London Premier Final.
The Warriors went through the regular season unbeaten and last weekend defeated reigning champions Hammersmith Hills Hoists 36-10 to book their place in the final. Mitchell Ingham’s hat-trick earned him the Player of the Match award, while Jarred Bassett, Jack Payne and Kyran David also crossed the whitewash.
London Chargers – beaten by Hammersmith in the 2019 Grand Final – also made convincing progress to the final, winning 52-14 at Swindon St George in last Saturday’s semi-final with Rick Davidson and Adam Simm outstanding with two tries apiece.
The Chargers will be making their eighth Grand Final appearance and have won four of the last seven, while the Warriors are appearing for the first time.
West Warriors Chairman, Kim Parkinson, says: "Our lads are under no illusion that London Chargers will be fired up for this weekend’s Grand Final.
"They have a great coaching staff and quality players right throughout their squad. In saying that, our lads are confident that if we can continue to play the same footy as we have all year we can come away with the win.
"It's going to be a different experience playing under floodlights, but we have trained well this week and are really looking forward to the occasion."
Parkinson’s opposite number at London Chargers, Craig Monteiro, adds: "With three consecutive final defeats to Hammersmith behind us, we are keen to turn things around against Wests on Saturday. This is the strongest Wests squad I've ever seen and it will be a tough game.
"However, we come in with one of the strongest and experienced Chargers sides in recent memory. Our 2021 side is made up of predominantly English players and has a lot more London-born talent in it than previous years. We usually have an annual Antipodean influx and the club has strong ties to Australia, but we have had a lot fewer over this year due to COVID.
"For the last 10 years the premier amateur competition in London – and the south since 2016 – has been won by either Chargers or Hammersmith, so it's good to see a new team make the Grand Final. Wests go in unbeaten, so will be a tough test. We're looking forward to the challenge."
Stephen Guan, RFL Southern Regions Development Manager, says: "Both Wests and Chargers have been the dominant teams in the SCL this year, as demonstrated by their semi-final wins last weekend, so it's fitting they meet in the final.
"Wests being undefeated this season means they probably go in as favourites, but the Chargers have a strong track record and are a hard team to get past. With finals footy you never quite know.
"It's also great to see Medway Dragons and Brixton Bulls both taking their placed in the London Premier Final.
"Both clubs are well known for their junior development over the years and it's very pleasing that we will see both clubs with players having come up through the ranks.
"Medway actually have sixteen of their seventeen players having come up through their junior teams over the years. Medway finished on top in the regular season and only have lost one game but that was to Brixton, so we have another intriguing game on our hands."
The London Premier Final will kick off proceedings at 4.30pm, with the Southern Conference Final following at 6.30pm kick off.
Both games will be streamed live on Twitch and can be found via the RFL’s Twitch channel: twitch.tv/rugbyleague.
Matches will be played at Rosslyn Park RFC with admission to both games free.