Oli Leyland spoke of the importance of team cohesion on and off the pitch for London Broncos ahead of Saturday’s Betfred Championship Summer Bash tie against Sheffield.

The annual Summer Bash returns for the first time in three years this weekend at Headingly Stadium in West Yorkshire with all 14 Championship teams in action.

The Broncos start the festival of Rugby League at 12.45pm against Mark Aston’s Eagles before six further games take place between the Championship’s other 12 teams.

Leyland kicked a faultless six conversions out of six in the Broncos’ historic 36-28 come-from-behind win over Sheffield earlier this month. And triumphs over Bradford Bulls and Halifax Panthers have since been recorded.

The Academy graduate put the club’s timely return to form down to a collective change in approach to life away from Rugby League – especially for players who have moved to the capital to represent the Broncos badge.

“There is a real togetherness about the squad right now,” said Leyland. “As Mike (Eccles, Head Coach) mentioned post-match on Sunday, we’re playing like a proper London team and confidence is high.

“Mike has been a huge part of that process, in my opinion. We’ve worked hard in training but away from our responsibilities we’ve gelled massively off the pitch too.

“He stressed to us that playing in London does not come without its sacrifices for many players as they’re based long distances away from friends and family.

“Personally, I’m fortunate to have my support group living locally. But for the lads that grew up in the north, on the continent or in Australia is must be hard. We’ve been there for each other, and that approach is paying off.”

Leyland had extra reason to celebrate the Broncos’ win over promotion hopefuls Halifax on Sunday after graduating from St Mary’s University with a degree in History in the week building up to kick-off.

Rian Horsman was another to graduate, with the talented half-back earning a degree in sports science.

Focus will quickly shift from recent celebrations to the job in hand come kick-off on Saturday, though.

“It goes without saying we need to make a better start than last time we faced Sheffield,” said Leyland. “Our goal is always to deliver an 80-minute performance and this weekend is no different.

“The Summer Bash is always cool to be part of, as players we relish the new environment and support from fans across the UK.”

London Broncos’ Betfred Championship tie against Sheffield Eagles as part of the league’s Summer Bash kicks off at 12.45pm at Headingly Stadium on Saturday, July 30.

Further information and tickets for the Championship’s showcase event are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.