Kent has never really been known as a Rugby League heartland but Rob Butler is bucking that trend with his rise to the London Broncos first team. We caught up with the Prop Forward.
It’s fair to say you are having an interesting season?
Yes, for sure. I didn’t expect this to happen but I am just enjoying being out there with the boys and enjoying the time I am getting on the field.
You came up from the Academy last season and it turned out to be a huge one for you. Did you expect, signing for the first team, to be playing in a Million Pound game?
Definitely not no! There were a few things that led to me being out on the field that day. Some of them were unfortunate for others but I was given the opportunity and its something that I gladly grabbed with both hands.
It’s probably fair to say you have really taken the chance that Danny Ward has given you this season. How is it going for you?
I’d like to think I have taken the chance that I’ve been given. It’s been really interesting and I really didn’t expect to get this many games. I am massively grateful for the chance I have been given and the amount of games I have played in. There is so much I still have to learn and improve on as I am far from being the finished article. I am still excited about the journey we are on and where it will end.
Your family are always at the games for you and Dad is your biggest fan. What does it mean to have them on the touchline?
It’s huge for me to have them there but to be honest I forget they are in the ground a lot of the time! I must admit it is hard not to hear Mum at times as she can be very loud! It’s great to come off of the pitch at the end of a game and see them there as they have been there for me since I first started playing down in Kent in the under 10’s. They even give me a call after a game if they can’t make it as they will listen to a commentary or follow the game on social media.
You are not only a product of the London Academy but a product of Medway Dragons. How did they help you?
Most of all they gave me somewhere to play Rugby League. There are not a great deal of Junior clubs down here in the South but they gave me my first taste of the game and the rest, as they say, is history. I haven’t looked back since really but I do go back and help with their training just to give back something to the club. I still chat to some of the guys that I played with down there so it will always be a big part of my career. I think it’s important to try and give back to these Community clubs and show others that there is a pathway through the Broncos to becoming a professional.
I think everyone here knew this would be a tough season in Super League what’s the mood in the camp now?
It has been an up and down kind of ride so far but there are a lot of games still to play. We have been so close on occasions and I think we have surprised a lot of people. We have always been the underdogs and we enjoy that tag. We will fight until the end and try everything we can to survive in this league.
The relationship with the fans is so important here and obviously they will be worried that players will leave at the end of the season and not perform now. What can you tell them on that?
I would say do not worry about the stories you read and come along and get behind the boys. I am in here every day with all the boys and we all know we have a job to do until the last game of the season. What happens then is a different story but right now we are fighting hard as one team, together right until the very end.