London Broncos boss makes 'different' Hull FC admission as ex-trio named in squad

Morgan Smith celebrates his match winner for Hull FC.
Morgan Smith celebrates his match winner for Hull FC. -Credit:SW Pix

London Broncos head coach Mike Eccles is expecting a stern challenge from a Hull FC side 'on their way back up' this Sunday afternoon. The two clubs are set for their second meeting of the season, with Wimbledon's Cherry Red Records Stadium playing host for the capital clash.

Going toe-to-toe in back in March, it was a nail biting affair, with Morgan Smith standing up to land the winning try inside the final 90 seconds. It was the closest winless London have got to two Super League points this season, and it also remains the only time Hull have tasted victory.

But heading into this clash, Eccles isn't holding much scope on the first meeting, which finished 28-24, with Hull going through an abundance of change that has seen the likes of Tom Briscoe, Yusuf Aydin, and Tiaki Chan join the club. There's also a change of coach, with Simon Grix stepping in for Tony Smith, who departed last month, and a former loan player to factor in, who made a huge difference before heading back to his parent club.

"Hull are on their way back up now," Eccles said. "They were excellent against Leeds. They’re a different team. They've freshened up and mentally they’ve had a reboot.

"I’m not sure we can look too much into the previous game, we’ll scan their team and stack up how they’re playing under Grixy as opposed to Tony but there’s been a lot of change. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but there’s been a lot of personnel change both on and off the field.

“That week, what shifted the balance for them was Matty Russell. He was incredible for them, getting their sets going forward, which they had struggled with. He did a real number on us."

London have lost 46-8 at Leeds and 40-0 at Castleford in recent weeks, but their last home outing saw them push Salford all the way, only losing 12-4. It's that type of stubborn performance Hull are expecting on Sunday. They know only their best will be good enough, with the Broncos, who have named former Black and Whites Halim Miloudi, Lewis Bienek, and Robbie Storey in their squad, confident that an elusive win will come.

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“We won’t throw the towel in," Eccles added. "You won’t see that from us, ever. It’s just about a Championship squad adjusting in tough times in Super League.

“We cannot clock off on play four or play five when we think the jobs done. We’ve got to make tackles, individual tackles. We’re never going to get them all right, but we’re giving away too many tries. When we stop that, we do believe the win will come."

London Squad: 1. Alex Walker, 2. Lee Kershaw, 3. Jarred Bassett, 4. Hakim Miloudi, 5. Iliess Mancani, 7. James Meadows, 8. Rob Butler, 9. Sam Davis, 10. Lewis Bienek, 11. Will Lovell, 12. Ethan Natoli, 15. Marcus Stock, 16. Jordan Williams, 17. Sadiq Adebiyi, 19. Rhys Kennedy, 20. Oli Leyland, 21. Robbie Storey, 23. Josh Rourke, 29. Jacob Jones, 33. Harvey Makin, 34. Ugo Tison.

Read more: Hull FC make three changes to squad as Tiaki Chan named and Ben Reynolds misses out