Rugby League - Soward makes immediate impact

Jamie Soward made up nicknames for his new London Broncos team-mates after meeting them for the first time in the warm-up to Saturday's Super League game against Salford.

PA Sport
Rugby League - Soward makes immediate impact
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Jamie Soward's introduction from the bench lifted the Broncos

The Australian half-back made his Broncos debut just hours after arriving in the country and, although he failed to prevent them going down to a 44-30 defeat which plunged them to the foot of the table, he gave the club's faithful followers renewed hope by making an immediate impact.

The injury-hit Londoners were trailing 28-0 when coach Tony Rea introduced Soward from the bench 25 minutes in, and the former St George Illawarra scrum-half went on to spark a fightback in which he scored a try and kicked five goals. "I got through customs at 6.30," said Soward, who signed a short-term contract with the Broncos a fortnight ago.

"Tony said he's run with what I thought and I was keen to play. I feel pretty tired but most of all disappointed that we lost."

Soward had been sent tapes of Broncos matches by Rea while he was waiting for his visa, but with four players making their home debuts in the absence of 11 senior players through injury and suspension, it was a fairly futile exercise and the Australian admitted former team-mate Luke Dorn was one of the few names he was familiar with.

"At 28-0, I looked around and got the message to Tony that I'm ready to go," Soward told Press Association Sport. "I just made up nicknames as I went and, if they didn't listen, I just yelled them even louder. As you can tell from my voice, I'm a bit croaky.

"I just went out there and let Dorny call the plays. I've been studying them but, once things happen out there, it's so fast and it's hard to call the plays.

"It's easy to come and try and run the joint and do everything, but I needed to fit into their systems. I needed to earn their respect and I tried to do that out there just by going out and trying my arse off. Hopefully people saw that and we can build for next week."

Rea was delighted with Soward's debut, insisting he had no regrets over his decision not to start with him on the bench.

"It would have been good to have started him but it never pays to look back in this game," he said. "In my mind it was all about protecting Jamie and, in an ideal world, he would have had a good week with the team before playing. I'm delighted with what he's done to the team. He's already helped a lot of young blokes to feel a lot more confident about their footie."

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