Players In Common - London Broncos

Players In Common - London Broncos widnesvikings.co.uk
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14th September 2017

Widnes Vikings take on London Broncos on Saturday 16th September at the Halton Stadium in a huge game in the Super 8s, The Qualifiers.

This Saturday's game will see two teams in the Vikings and the Broncos, in which players have experience of playing for both. Therefore, the Vikings media team takes a look back at the careers of these past and present stars...

 

Dennis Moran

An Australian schoolboys representative in 1995, Dennis made his NRL debut for Parramatta Eels during the 1998 season as a half-back under Brian Smith. Moran would go on to make 36 appearances for the Eels before moving to England to play for the London Broncos. Dennis would make the most appearances in his career at the Broncos, scoring 74 tries in 109 appearances, and topped the Super League try scoring charts in 2002 and 2003. Moran impressed the coaching staff at Wigan Warriors during his time in the Capital to make him Adrian Lam’s replacement following his retirement in 2004. After a short spell at Wigan, Moran completed a move to Widnes Vikings for the 2006 season, telling the local paper that “‘I’ve come here to try and help out to get this club back into Super League.” Moran quickly established himself in the Widnes side, and earned himself a place in the 2006 National League One Dream Team, before taking the National League One Player of the Year award in 2007 after a brilliant second year at the Club. 

 

Tom Gilmore

Widnes-born Tom has spent the majority of his career at the Vikings, but had a spell in 2015 in the Capital with the Broncos. Coming through as a Halton Farnworth Hornets junior, Tom made waves in the Vikings Academy setup as a controlling half back with a good kicking game, Gilmore made his debut as a 19-year old against London Broncos in 2012. With Kevin Brown and Joe Mellor occupying the half back positions, Gilmore sought game-time elsewhere, and Tony Rea and the Broncos offered him first team opportunities. 15 appearances were made, scoring four tries, before Gilmore returned for the 2016 season. With Brown departing, and Mellor moved to stand off, Tom was handed the number 7 shirt at the start of the 2017, and was voted as vice-captain in the Vikings’ Leadership Group. However, injuries has hampered his progression and time on the field throughout the year. Tom has been named in the Vikings’ 19-man squad for Saturday’s game, and could be in line to make an appearance against his former club.

 

Martin Offiah

Regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever wingers, Martin Offiah was brought to rugby league by the Doug Laughton and the Vikings in 1987 after impressing in a ‘Sevens’ tournament down South. Offiah quickly became known for his lightning speed and try scoring abilities in England and Down Under, and was part of the Widnes team that were crowned World Champions in 1989. Offiah would spend four years with the Chemics, playing 145 times, and crossing for an incredible 181 tries, with short spells with Eastern Suburbs and St George in Australia proving successful also. Offiah moved to Wigan Warriors in 1992, for a world record fee of £440,000, and quickly formed a partnership with Gene Miles and started in the manner he finished with Widnes. After 186 tries in 159 games, including the infamous try against Leeds in the Challenge Cup final in 1994, Offiah moved on to London Broncos and Salford City Reds before hanging up his boots. With an outstanding record of 424 appearances, and 444 tries in a brilliant career, Offiah’s time in rugby league is now immortalised at Wembley with a statue outside the famous stadium.

 

Joe Mellor

The Vikings Co-Captain, like Gilmore above, had a short spell with the London-based side early in his career, but in their previously known name as Harlequins RL. Having started his career at Wigan after signing from amateur club Latchford, Mellor’s time at the Warriors would be disrupted due to a fractured kneecap in a freak training accident. After recovering from the injury, which kept him on the sidelines for a full season, Mellor would join Harlequins on a loan deal. Joe would make only one appearance for Rob Powell’s side in a 27-16 victory over St Helens before returning back North. Following his return to Wigan, Joe was sent on loan to Widnes along with Dom Crosby and Logan Tomkins. After another loan spell in 2012 with the Vikings, Mellor made his move permanent, and has made 149 appearances for the Club to date, with Saturday’s game against the Broncos bringing up the half back’s 150th at the Club.  

 

Shane Millard

Australian hooker Millard started out his career in Sydney with the Roosters, before short spells with Western Suburb Magpies and South Sydney Rabbitohs preceded his move to England’s Capital with the Broncos. Shane would spend 3 seasons at the club, including a Challenge Cup final appearance in 1999, a game in which London were beaten by Leeds Rhinos. After a short spell back in his native country with St George Illawarra Dragons, Millard signed for Widnes for the 2003 season. Millard made headlines in 2004, when he continued to play on in a game despite a fragment of Castleford’s Dean Ripley’s tooth being embedded his head, emphasising the hookers determination and commitment. Following the Vikings’ relegation in 2005, Shane would have short spells at Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors before retiring from the game in 2007 after helping Wigan to a play-off semi final appearance. 

 

Sam Wilde

One of the Vikings’ latest recruits for next year, Sam Wilde is currently a member of the Broncos first team squad that make the trip to the Halton Stadium this weekend. A former Shevington Sharks junior, Sam made his first team debut just two years ago with Warrington Wolves against Wigan Warriors in 2015. Wilde’s impressive performances for Warrington allowed him to make a Grand Final appearance last season, as the Wolves were beaten by Wigan Warriors in a narrow contest at Old Trafford. 2017 started frustratingly for Wilde with first team appearances limited, but three loan spells for the hard-working back rower, including the Vikings in May along with Rochdale and London, has handed him the minutes of the field he needs. Wilde is ruled out with injury for this weekend’s clash, but will be looking to impress Vikings supporters back in a black and white shirt for the 2018 season. 

 

Other notable names to have played for both clubs include Mal Aspey, Reg Bowden, Julian O'Neill, Oliver Wilkes, Kevin Penny, Shane Grady and Rhodri Lloyd. 

Tickets for the Vikings' game against London Broncos are available to purchase. Please click here for full ticket information and details on how to buy.

Players In Common - London Broncos widnesvikings.co.uk