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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Q&A: Tony Martin
London Broncos centre Tony Martin

Tony Martin is an integral part of the London Broncos side currently lying fifth in the Super League standings.

The 25-year-old Aussie centre is his side's main source of points and will be sorely missed when he moves to Australian NRL outfit New Zealand Warriors next season.

Tony initially tasted first grade action in 1996 with the London Academy, but matured into a world-class performer back in Australia with Melbourne Storm.

Tony returned to London in 2001 having won the Grand Final with Melbourne in 1999 and joined us to answer your e-mails.

Interviewed by BBC Sport's Kevin Price.


It is great that you came back to play for London, but what persuaded you to? After all, you were doing well at Melbourne, a world class team.

Anyway, best of luck. You are a great player and the club is lucky to have you.

Tim Allen, Eltham

It was great to come back to London and I've really enjoyed my time here. The fans and club have been good to me and hopefully we've done well for the fans especially this year, but leaving Melbourne was hard as I felt I'd done well down there.

The deciding factor to leave for the New Zealand Warriors next season was the possibility it might be my last chance to play State Of Origin for Queensland.


I'm pleased to see London doing so well this season and it's good to have a successful team in the south. How do you explain London's excellent away form but poor home form?

Brian Middlehurst, St Helens

That's a tough one but the easiest way to look at it is that we're not worried about playing away. Unlike other clubs we don't see it as a big disadvantage as every second week we're travelling four hours up north so it's not such a big deal to us.

Our home form - well who knows? If you could explain it we wouldn't be having the problems we're having, but it's something we're working hard on.

But it's good that we've been successful as it makes it more of a national game and gets the London people involved in the game, which can only be good for the sport.


Do you prefer playing on the wing or in the centres? Also where does Nigel Roy prefer playing? I think you make a great centre partnership but Tony Rea has a tendency to play you in other positions.

Paddy Hayes, London

That's right I enjoy playing in the centres and I've always played there but it doesn't bother me if the winger - whether it's Nigel or Steve Hall - wants to come inside looking for more work.

I'm not the sort of player who says "I'm centre and your wing so stay outside me and that's that" but would rather play the team game.

I'm not really sure how Nigel sees it but I agree he's a very good centre. He's versatile and is a good full-back and winger so it all comes down to a balancing act and it's up to Tony to decide what's best for the team every week.

A lot of the time it comes down to who's fit and injuries have been a problem for London.


What has been your favourite experience whilst at the Broncos?

Jeff Card, Sydney, Australia

Football-wise we've done really well but it's been a whole life-changing experience to live in a great city like London and travel to Europe which is so close.

It's been great to experience a different form of rugby league from the NRL - I see rugby here as being more attacking, open and at times more fun and that's been one of the great things coming back.

In Australia I was seen as a defensive player and coming over here gave me a chance to hone my attacking skills and become a better attacking player and hopefully I've done that over the last three years.


How closely have you been following the Warriors' progress, and are there any particular players you look forward to playing with?

Andrew, Auckland, N.Z

I've followed them quite closely for a while and discussed playing for them a couple of years ago and since then have taken an interest.

I'm looking forward to playing with guys like John Carlaw, who I played with at Melbourne, Stacey Jones, PJ Marsh - who I've known since we were kids - and Lance Hohaia.

They have a great forward pack and world class players as they showed by reaching last year's NRL Grand final so I'm looking forward to playing with all of them and under coach Daniel Anderson, last year's NRL Coach of the Year. In general I'm looking forward to everything.


What are the main differences between playing in the NRL and Super League?

PS: You are one of the main reasons I started supporting London!

Jamie, Hampshire

That's nice to know and it's always good to hear that the supporters enjoy watching you play.

The main difference is that in England they play a more attacking game and the players are a lot bigger and stronger whereas in Australia they are more defensive and probably technically better.

And as I said it's much faster and more open over here and just more fun to play.


Would you ever consider changing codes and playing rugby union, like some other league players have?

Phil Lloyd-Bushell, England

I guess I would but so far I haven't had that opportunity - it's a very big step to cross codes, although I played a bit of Union at school so it might be OK.

You look at players like Jason Robinson who has done wonderfully well and Henry Paul who has started to do well but it took him 12-18 months to get the hang of it. Then you look at the Australians but it's not as easy changing codes as people think.

It would be a very big decision but one I would look at as a future challenge and would consider if the right offer came along.


Hi Tony, I've been a great fan of yours since your days with the Storm and I'm pleased to see you doing so well at London. Do you think you would come back to the Storm?

David Fairclough, Werribee, Melbourne

It's something that's always on my mind as I haven't played for too many clubs as I've always been very loyal.

When I decided to return to the NRL Melbourne was one of only about three clubs that I considered playing for. I would love to have gone back and I spoke informally to some of the players but the situation just never happened.

They've got a settled team and I guess they didn't need any outside backs because if they did they knew how to contact me. I loved my time in Melbourne and who knows what could happen in the future. They were a great team and a great bunch of supporters and I'll never forget that.


I am currently playing in the summer conference for the Telford Raiders.

I am 17 and physically strong but I want to trim down and lose some body fat.

Do you have any dieting and training tips to help me achieve this?

Paul Lambert, Telford

A lot of it does come down to your diet, eating the right things and cutting back on your fat intake and replacing fat with protein and carbohydrates.

Then you need to get a good training programme in place and train really hard in the gym, especially at 17 when you're probably just starting gym work.

It's also important to get some expert advice so you're doing the right thing and then just put your head down and work hard and you'll reap the benefits within a few months.


What advice would you give to a four-year-old boy who wants to play rugby like you when he is older?

Caroline Mulholland, Morden, Surrey

The one bit of advice would be just to enjoy himself whatever sport he's playing.

I started playing the game in Australia when I was four because my brother played and I wanted to go along with him.

At the end of the day the most important thing is for kids to enjoy it because if they're not then when they turn 10 or 12 they'll be sick of it and they won't play the sport again.

Parents should make sure their kids are always learning but enjoying it at the same time.



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07 Mar 03  |  Super League


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