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Rea unflustered by Gower exit

7th of June 2013
Rea unflustered by Gower exit

London Broncos coach Tony Rea is confident his side can move on from the sudden departure of former Kangaroos half-back Craig Gower.

London Broncos coach Tony Rea is confident his side can move on from the sudden departure of former Kangaroos half-back Craig Gower.

Gower was this week released from his contract, seven days after stepping down as captain, after an apparent disagreement with Rea.

The post-Gower era starts tomorrow with the visit of title-chasing Warrington Wolves and Rea says a line has been drawn under the episode.

"It's about the people who are playing," Rea said. "Those are the ones that matter and they're more than capable.

"Craig decided to leave; it's not going to affect us."

Warrington coach Tony Smith believes the loss of the influential Gower could actually have a galvanising effect on the Londoners and that makes him wary of them, especially after losing 62-18 in the corresponding fixture last season.

"People will try to step up," Smith said. "Sometimes when that sort of character - a fairly dominating character - steps out of the fray, you see a whole new personality of the team.

"We are wary of that. We saw it a bit last year when they had a change of leadership in terms of coaching, when Tony took over, and we got our backsides well and truly beaten.

"There are some similarities there but we are not going to go down with a similar approach. We are doing things a lot differently.

"Last year it was a week before the Challenge Cup (final) and we had some players that needed a break.

"Fortunately, we are able to go down the day before. It is no guarantee of a different performance but hopefully it will contribute to a better performance than what we had down there last year."

Rea has handed the captaincy to Londoner Tony Clubb and 20-year-old scrum-half Mike Bishay, who joined the Broncos' academy from West London Sharks, will get the chance to stake a claim for the number seven jersey after making his debut as a substitute in last Saturday's 30-30 draw with Castleford Tigers.

"I was really delighted with how he went last week," Rea said. "He's a really passionate part of the team, with his enthusiasm, desire and hunger.

"Performance determines whether he gets to keep the job. If he performs, he gets to keep it, if he doesn't perform, he won't."

Tomorrow's game is being played at Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium, the Londoners' latest "on-the-road" fixture as they prepare to leave the Twickenham Stoop at the end of the year.

The club have been linked with a move to Barnet but another good crowd in Gillingham, where 3,930 watched their game against Hull FC last season, could persuade them to head to Kent instead of north London.

It is a fourth different venue for the Broncos in 2013, after playing Super League games at Esher and High Wycombe, but Rea is delighted with what he has seen of Priestfield.

"They played there last year and really enjoyed it," he said. "We trained there a month ago and it's a terrific little venue. We'll have another session there before the game."

Hull coach Peter Gentle is confident his side will not fall into holiday mode as they look to continue their impressive run when they take on Catalan Dragons in the south of France.

"You go over there to sunshine and it is a big distraction," Gentle said.

"You've got the pool and you are in a resort so you can fall into that trap but we are going over there to do a job, not to get a sun tan.

"We've spoken about it long and hard this week. I don't think this group will be guilty of that but we have spoken about it and I'm very happy that we are going over there for the right reasons."

Hull have climbed above the Dragons into fourth place after winning seven of their last eight matches.

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