Fan favourite, Ben Hellewell, chats all things season 2017, the Super 8s, and the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, after both he and Alex Walker were named in Scotland’s provisional squad.
Talk us through 2017 so far – bit of a rocky start, but a happier ending with a top two finish and now the Super 8s.
For me personally, it’s been alright. I got injured mid-season so I didn’t play at Summer Bash – individually I think I’ve done okay – I don’t think I’ve played to the best of my ability. I scored more tries last year, and I think I played better last year than I have this year. I play better in bigger games, so hopefully these coming bigger games bring out the best in me.
Speaking of bigger games, you’ve been named in Scotland’s provisional World Cup squad with Alex Walker, are you looking forward to heading to the southern hemisphere?
Definitely. I’m always proud to pull the Scotland jersey on, because I’m representing myself and my family – my granddad’s from Scotland. Every time I pull the jersey on I play for the badge, and I can’t wait. Plus it’s in Australia, so I’ll get to see the sun, and it’s in Cairns, where I’ve never been before.
What then, does it mean to pull on a Broncos jersey?
London is my favourite club I’ve played for, to be honest. Ever since I’ve been here from day one, everybody’s made me feel welcome, and I’m so proud when I pull the Broncos jersey on because I’m representing rugby league in London. We’re slowly growing the game through our club and other great work going on in the south, and it’s something we’re all really proud to be a part of.
Enlighten us on what it’s like to live with Barthau, Garside and Battye?
Battye’s a good chef – he cooks, but he eats all of it so we don’t ever actually get to taste any of it. Garside just sticks in his room, and there’s a language barrier between me and Frenchy (laughs).
It’s been a roller coaster of a year for the London Broncos – what’s been your personal highlight?
Scoring four tries against Sheffield Eagles!
Our team goal is promotion, but what’s yours?
My personal goal is to take the team back to Super League, where we belong, and for myself, I just try and ensure that my performances improve week by week.
On the note of promotion, how achievable do you think it is?
It’s definitely achievable. We played against Catalans, and they’re a team full of superstars – New Zealand internationals, Australian internationals – and we ran them so close. Although it’s going to be tough for us, we’re more than capable of taking this team back to Super League if we play like we know we can play.
How tough was that loss?
Very tough. Obviously we played well enough to actually win the game, and like I said, they are a team full of internationals – on paper, they’re a much better team, but we’ve got the desire and heart to come out on top, and that’s why, given the chance, these are all games we could win.
And what about Featherstone?
Every time we’ve played them, it’s been a tough, close game. They’ve got a big middle pack and strong outside backs and very skillful halves. Defensively, they’ve been hard to break down. Each week, they’ve played good games. They’re in the top four for a reason, and that’s simply because they’ve earned their way there.
Finally, what can we expect from the Broncos for the rest or 2017?
We’ve always had heart and desire and pride in the jersey, so I think, like I say, if we play as well as some of the bigger games we’ve played in this year – I mean, we’ve played against some tough teams in Super League, and I think we can match them, if not beat, most of the teams.
Each game’s going to be a Cup final for us – and that’s how we get into Super League.