With the regular season now complete, what would you say were the main differences between the start of the season and now?
“I just think the team has really gelled together since the start of the campaign. We were, I think, playing as a group of individuals at the start but we’ve now really bonded as a group. Everyone has now bought into the vision that Hendo put to us.”
You’ve had a couple of injuries this season – is it good to be back playing again?
“Yes, really good. I have struggled with a couple of injuries over the past few seasons which has been frustrating. To only play about 20 games over a two year period is not want anyone wants. I’ve come in this season and feel I’ve done a good job for the boys and the team as a whole. So yes, it’s definitely good to back.”
Three tries to your name this season so far. Is scoring on your mind?
“It was great to get those points for the team against Toulouse and then again against Rochdale and Batley.
“If I’m honest, in my first and second seasons I didn’t have as much of an attacking game in general. That was something I spoke to assistant coaches, Danny Ward and Jamie Langley, about at length so I could improve that part of my game. Now, I think that, with my strength and footwork, I have turned that around. I may have only scored three tries in about thirty games – so one in 10 – but I think as long as I can do as much as I can for the team, the points don’t really matter. If I make my tackles, make my ball carries matter, and work hard for the team then that’s what makes me happy.”
What was the Matt Davis journey into Rugby League?
“I had a few friends who played at my local club, Leicester Storm, so I went down to play with them. I was lucky enough to get a trial for the Midlands Academy and was accepted into the programme.
“Steve Crooks was a huge mentor for me throughout my time there. He is a massive hero in Hull, playing for Hull FC and KR through the years, and he ran the programme based at Loughborough University. That was for two years and it was splitting your rugby with college study. It was full time, and we earned a wage from it too. It has produced a lot of quality players to be fair, and Broncos alone have taken in, I think, six players in three years.”
What were your first impressions of London when you got here?
“Obviously there was a lot more going on in a big city like this in comparison to where I’m from. I’m from a farming background, so coming to London was a huge change of environment. I will admit I don’t really focus on anything outside of the game of rugby league, really. I did a couple of tourist attractions but I had been before and didn’t really take a lot of it in, to be honest.”
Outside of the game, you recently got engaged. Any plans been made yet for the big day?
“No, we haven’t as yet. Em is going to be up in Leeds with her new job in law for three years now, so we won’t be making firm plans for a while I think. I think she enjoys being with a rugby league player, but you would have to ask her to get the truth! I hope she does! She comes to the games which is great, and I have only ever scored when she has been in the crowd so maybe I should encourage her to come to more!”
What passions do you have outside of rugby?
“Not many, really. When I was at home, my brother, Sam, and I and some other family members used to enjoy going surfing. We used to go down to Devon. I haven’t had the chance since being here as the games are in the summer, and I don’t fancy surfing through the winter.
“Bodyboarding as well was something we would do. I have enjoyed some family holidays with my girlfriend’s, sorry, fiancée’s family, I haven’t really got any other hobbies. I enjoy hanging out with some of my housemates like Lewis Bienek and my brother Sam.
“I haven’t got what you would call an exciting life, but I know what I like and that’s what I stick with, really. I think of myself as an older person in a younger man’s body when it comes to things outside of my real passion, which is this game.”
What was the camp like when you heard we had secured that second place finish?
“When we found out we had secured it we were buzzing. It’s all well and good saying that’s what we want before playing any games, but the reality is that it takes a lot to get there.
“It’s so easy to slip up, like we did at the start of the season, as there are some good teams in this league are there are no guarantees. Credit to the boys for getting through that tough period before Easter, but then the run of wins kicked in and now we’re where we wanted to be.
“There were a few cheers after the Rochdale and Batley games, but now the focus moves to the Qualifiers, and the next competition.”