Broncos settle into The Valley

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Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

The London Broncos are to put an end to their wanderings by moving in with the footballers of Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

The Broncos will play their remaining home games this season, starting with the fixture against Sheffield Eagles on 17 December, and all their home Super League fixtures next summer at the Endsleigh League First Division ground.

They have already played there once during a peripatetic season that has also seen them at Barnet Copthall, Brentford and The Stoop.

"It is clear that all spectators will be comfortable at The Valley and will feel a sense of welcome that undoubtedly exists at Charlton Athletic," Barry Maranta, the Broncos chairman, said.

The Broncos had negotiated with a number of football clubs before striking their deal with Charlton, whose proximity to a BR station is seen as a major advantage.

"We are delighted to welcome the Broncos to The Valley," Jonathan Fuller, the Charlton director, said. "With professional rugby league moving to the summer, hosting the London side is an ideal utilisation of our ground and facilities.

"In addition, having two top professional sporting clubs operating from the stadium will raise the profile of The Valley and the area as a whole."

London have two more "home" games before moving in - against Halifax in the Regal Trophy at The Stoop on Saturday and against Wigan at Brentford on 3 December.

A compromise has moved closer in the battle between the Australian and the Super League. Clubs loyal to the ARL have given their executive chairman, Ken Arthurson, their endorsement to continue negotiating a truce on the basis of a 20-team competition next season.

While that would ensure the immediate survival of all the clubs, it is believed that the blueprint allows for a staged reduction to something much closer to the 12-team competition envisaged by the Super League.

The Salford coach, Andy Gregory, is also involved in peace talks - with his namesake, Mike Gregory.

The former Great Britain captain was fined and placed on the transfer list after missing training and refusing to play in the reserve team, but his coach says that he has now cleared up a misunderstanding and will ask the board to lift his fine.

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