England coach Capital Challenge
Steve McNamara got a real taste of London Rugby League when he dropped into a training session at the Brixton Bulls, followed by a visit to the Capital Challenge. The England coach admits he was blown away by both events and was mightily impressed with his two-day visit to London.
Steve was invited to be the guest speaker at the annual Capital Challenge between London Skolars and London Broncos at the HAC grounds in the heart of the City. But he decided to come down a day early and see some inner city Rugby League at Brixton.
It was a chance meeting with Brixton Bulls coach Philippa Robson, who won the RFL’s Coach of the Year award last year, which prompted the visit to the junior club for their first training session of the year. “She told me of the work that she does in Brixton and it went from there,” said Steve.
“I was due a visit to London for the Capital Challenge so I decided to take in a trip to Brixton as well to see what developments were taking place in and around that area.
“It was very, very interesting. I was blown away by the enthusiasm of not just the players who were there but the staff, the volunteers and everybody involved. To see 80 kids running around on a cold night really having fun and enjoying themselves was great.
“In terms of what’s happening in London, it gave me a real insight into the attitude of the people who are involved in Rugby League and hopefully we can get more involved.”
The following day it was a very different venue as the England coach found himself in the heart of the City at the HAC ground for the Capital Challenge. Steve was guest of honour at the lunch and after taking part in the Q&A session he went out to watch the game.
“I’d heard lots of good things about it and it’s probably even better actually seeing it. I couldn’t believe we were right in the heart of London. It was a very competitive game and its great to see people from all different walks of life all coming to watch Rugby League,” he added.
The Broncos beat the Skolars 42-14 but it was the most competitive match ever between the two clubs at the HAC.