Broncos to warm-up for Saints in Wales - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos to warm-up for Saints in Wales

By Chris Lines 14/02/2007 08:46:55 PM Comments (0)

The Brisbane Broncos will be chasing some much-needed match fitness when they take on Celtic Crusaders in a warm-up match in Wales on Thursday night.

The match will be the only hit-out for the Broncos before the World Club Challenge showdown with St Helens in Bolton next week.

Brisbane, which arrived in England early Wednesday, has brought a squad of just 18 players for the World Club Challenge, meaning all players will get a good amount of game time against the Crusaders.

"Everyone's going to get a run, which is the idea," Brisbane forward Corey Parker said after arriving in London.

"This match is going to be really important, because half our guys haven't played a game yet, so they'll need to get some match fitness before the game against St Helens."

St Helen's fitness should be more advanced than Brisbane's, with the English Super League season having already underway, but Parker believes the Broncos' disadvantage will only be slight.

"Fitness will play a part to some degree, but really we're both in the same ballpark, so it's just going to be a matter of us adapting to it."

Brisbane will have little time to adapt to the wintry conditions before the Crusaders match, with Britain currently in the middle of a wet and windy burst.

The conditions, fitness deficit and English clubs' home ground advantage, may explain why Australian clubs have failed in the past three World Club Challenge finals.

But Parker said Brisbane was eager to repair that record, and was not treating this visit as a mere pre-season vacation.

"We take every game we play seriously, and while we are excited to be over here of course, at the same time we know that this is a job, and not a holiday," Parker said.

"It'll really mean a great deal if we can win it because it's been a while now since an Australian team has come over and won it, so that's what we're aiming to do."

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