9th January 2020, 16:18 | championship

London Broncos name Will Lovell as new captain

London Broncos name Will Lovell as new captain

London Broncos have announced Will Lovell as captain for the 2020 Betfred Championship season.

Danny Ward and his coaching staff decided Northampton-born Lovell was the one to stand out in pre-season and that he should be the man to lead the squad going into the 2020 campaign.

The 6ft 4ins centre told us his journey to becoming the new club Captain.

“To be fair it has not been straight forward.

"I started as an under 16 with the Harlequins RL team, as it was known then, and came through the system at Under 18s and Under 20s in which I also captained the team for a period of time.

"I was then fortunate enough to be signed with the first team and went on to play three seasons for the club before injuries forced me in the direction of a different path.

"After a short spell in rugby union with Northampton Saints, I played part time with London Skolars for three years before being invited back to the Broncos by Wardy and Andrew Henderson.

"It was here that I had another set back through injury and decided to utilise this time by community coaching in the local schools with John Keyes' guidance, whilst rehabilitating my knee.

Finally, I signed back for the Broncos full time and have been here since, enjoying being part of a fantastic set up which has produced some of my best rugby to date."

He added: "I was quite shocked but very humbled to receive the news from Wardy.

"It will be a great honour to captain the club that gave me the opportunity to play professional rugby. I have come through the system here and know what it means to wear the London Broncos jersey with pride so I can't wait to lead the team this season.

"I started this journey at 16 years of age. I would never of guessed that 10 years later I would be captaining the team.

"It's an honour and something that will mean a lot to my myself and my family. I only hope to do it justice."

Life will be changing in many ways now in 2020 for Will as, after dealing with personal tragedy recently, he has just become a father for the first time and we asked him how that felt: "It's an amazing feeling becoming a dad! Alfie is such a content and lovely little baby and has changed my life. Each day is different and after the recent loss of my dad, Alfie has brought much needed happiness to our lives."

He went on to say: "I'd like to thank my Mum and step dad, as without them none of this would be possible. The hours and support they have and still give up for me, I will never be able to thank them enough.

"My partner Jess, for giving me my little boy Alfie and for being a rock throughout my career and our years together, particularly during a tough last six months.

"To the rest of my immediate family and friends for their continued support.”

"To Wardy and all the London Broncos staff for helping me become the player that I am today and providing me with the support needed throughout."

Broncos Head Coach Ward told us about his decision to name Lovell as Captain and said: "Will has worked his way up with us through the Broncos academy ranks and it’s a real honour for him to captain the team.

"As well as the highs, he has overcome a lot of adversity over the years and has worked harder than anyone to get himself to where he is now.

"Becoming a Dad for the first time over Christmas has also seen Will develop his “Dad strength” which we are all excited about seeing in action this year.

"Will leads by example and the boys will be by his side every step of the way. He will be closely supported by a number of our experienced players on and off the field and I am sure he will do a fine job."

Broncos Chairman, David Hughes added: "I am delighted that Will has been given the captaincy for the 2020 season. He is a credit to the club across the board and will represent everyone to the highest standards. He has faced some tough times in his career but has come through and proved that hard work really does pay off.

"He is yet another product of the Broncos Academy to make it at the highest level and I am confident that Will will lead his side with pride and passion for the shirt each and every time they take the field."

Sheffield-born prop Eddie battye has also been named vice-captain.