Little puts shoe business aside
London shop assistant Harry Little is to quit his job selling shoes in order to put his best foot forward for the Broncos in Super League.
The 19-year-old was shocked to get a call-up for the Broncos' match at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last week but, after being voted man of the match by his team-mates, he cannot wait to make his home debut against Salford City Reds tomorrow.
Little, who was born in Chelsea before moving to Guildford, was spotted by the Broncos at the 2012 Rosslyn Park Sevens tournament held at the Londoners' training ground at Roehampton, and from there played for the under-18s and under-19s.
He has been combining his part-time rugby training with his job in a shoe shop but is now hoping to kick on in his chosen career.
"Even this week we finished training on Tuesday about 2pm and I had to be in the shoe shop at 3pm so it's sort of like living two lives," Little said.
"It's worth it. The call-up was really unexpected to be honest. I was called into training on Friday and I thought I was just getting the experience in. I was really excited and it was good to get the opportunity.
"Obviously Super League was a hope but it hadn't even come into my mind this year. Getting the call was one of those ambitions you've always had."
Although the Broncos lost 46-16 at Wakefield, Little and his fellow debutant Joe Wicks made a big impression on both their team-mates and coach Tony Rea.
"It came as a bit of a shock," Little added.
"It's a big honour, especially playing with some of the names around me in the team. For them to vote for me is such an honour.
"Obviously it was good to get my first chance and, once you've had the experience of Super League, you just want to keep doing it."
Little is one of nine London players in the Broncos' initial 19-man squad and, along with Wicks, will definitely keep his place in the team.
"That's based on performance and not injuries," said Rea. "They've done a great job.
"They are coming in prepared and ready for it. It's a great opportunity for our home fans to be able to see these kids come through and enjoy them."
Second rower Jacob Fairbank, who has joined the Broncos on loan from Huddersfield Giants, will also make his home debut while new signings Jamie Soward and Ryan Shaw are expected to make their first appearances in Super League.
Former New South Wales scrum-half Soward, who is joining the club for the rest of the season, is flying in from Sydney while centre Shaw has joined them on loan from Swinton.
Tomorrow's game is seen as a potential wooden-spoon decider.
London leapfrogged Salford into 13th place when the Reds were docked two points for fielding 14 players in their win over Castleford Tigers in April.
Both clubs were cut adrift at the foot of the table when Widnes Vikings and Castleford claimed wins last weekend.
London have confirmed that Soward is travelling business class, but a decision on his fitness will only be made when he arrives at the Twickenham Stoop following his 24-hour flight.
"He got on the plane really keen," said Rea. "It's a long time to sit down but he's got a diet and movement programme.
"We'll make a decision when he gets here."