Rugby League: Edwards has high hopes for future

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The Independent Online
Shaun Edwards, the part-time hero of the London Broncos' remarkable triumph over the Canberra Raiders on Monday, sees the result as a springboard for both himself and the club.

Edwards, hampered by a hamstring injury, played only 36 minutes at The Stoop, but in that time, he was instrumental in taking London from a 14- 0 deficit to a match-winning 26-14 lead.

"I wanted to start the match, but the coach decided otherwise. I also wanted to stay on until the end, but the hamstring was tightening up and I was scared of its going altogether," he said.

Even with his restricted mobility, Edwards' guile and know-how, to say nothing of his inspiring effect on those around him, transformed the game.

"I didn't think I could turn the game when I came on and I couldn't have done it without the rest of the lads," he said. "But it's a great feeling - even better than when we beat Wigan. We've got the best team in Britain here at the moment I hope people in London realise that."

There were signs on Monday night amid a crowd of over 7,000 that sports followers in the capital are starting to realise that something notable is happening. After all, as one man in the stands said, over the last couple of weeks London have beaten Wigan and Canberra, two sides with recent claims to being the best in the world - "and when was the last time a London team in any sport could say that?"

That is why the Broncos, who have already sold all their hospitality boxes, are hoping for a full house against their Brisbane namesakes on Sunday, and no doubt hoping for an equally influential contribution from Edwards. Injuries permitting, he will then face the second great Australian scrum-half of his generation in Allan Langer, having comprehensively upstaged Ricky Stuart on Monday.

The timing for Edwards in turning in big performances against such players could not be better, with a Test team to be put together for this autumn. He is circumspect about his chances. "It's in my mind that I want to get back in the Test team. But that's all up to the new Great Britain coach, when he's appointed," he said.