KAI PEARCE-PAUL: WE'RE SHOWING RESILIENCE.
If you have been keeping up to date with the recent Academy Origin series, you may have been slightly confused with the inclusion of Kai Pearce-Paul, who played in the first two games for the Yorkshire Origin team. After shining in both test matches between Yorkshire and Lancashire it wasn’t Kai’s athletic ability which left people perplexed, but it was the fact that Kai’s origins lie outside of the two Origin Counties. In-fact, Kai hails from some 300 miles away from Yorkshire and Lancashire, having grown up in Bromley, South London.
Currently signed with London Broncos Under 19s, Kai Pearce-Paul possesses all the required attributes to do well in Rugby League. He’s a punishing tackler and runs hard with plenty of pace. It is no wonder he is tipped to become one of the Bronco’s finest home grown graduates.
I’ve filmed and featured Kai on GRM SPORT on numerous occasions. You can watch match highlights of Kai in action at the end of this article.
I recently spoke to Pearce-Paul about his Origin experience and his upcoming clash against City of Hull Academy this weekend. Here’s what Kai had to say to GRM SPORT:
On his Rugby League background.
“ London isn’t really a Rugby League hotbed at the moment, but my attraction to Rugby League was my older brother. My Brother Kam Pearce-Paul came through the scholarship system at the Broncos, he went on to play first team and England Youth, he now plays for Coventry Bears.
“ My brother Kam has always been a father figure and role model to me and through him I got involved in Rugby League when I was around 6 years old.
“ I have come through the Broncos Scholarship like Kam did and now I am signed to the Academy. I also have a younger brother who is currently on the Broncos Scholarship.
“ My Mum was also a big influence in my rugby career, both in Rugby Union and Rugby League, she has taken us all on some very long car journey’s and has supported us from the very beginning.
On other factors which attracts people to Rugby League in London.
"Each of my teammates have their own unique reasons for joining the Broncos, for some; it’s word of mouth having met playing other sports and for others it’s through school, I know some of the lads have PE teachers who play rugby league and they were introduced to the sport that way.
On his inclusion in the Yorkshire Origin squad
“ Obviously some people might be confused with my inclusion in the Yorkshire Origin Squad because I’m from Bromley South London. But the Yorkshire and Lancashire test series features the best Under 19s in the country and ultimately could lead to an England Selection.
“ Following discussions with my coach we pushed to throw our names in the hat to allow us to showcase what we can do, despite not being from Yorkshire or Lancashire I wanted to play alongside the best of the best and also put my name out there.
“ I played well in both tests, assisting a try in the first test at the Mend-a-hose Jungle and scoring a try in the second test. I was lucky to have my Broncos half-back Oli Leyland playing alongside me, we know each other well having played with and against each other since the age of 7 or 8! I played for Croydon and he played for Medway Dragons.
“ The Origin series allowed me and Oli to show that despite being from London we have what it takes to play alongside the best.
On the player who impressed him the most during the test series so far
“ Dom Young was by far the stand out player, he’s just a tank! Made some big metres!
On London Broncos reaching the Super League once again
“ Having the first team playing in Super League is a huge boost. The standard has trickled down to the Academy and Scholarship. We have noticed an increase in standard and intensity at training and the lead up to each game. From an Academy point of view it has been great, a new stand has been built so when we play curtain raisers for the first team there is a great atmosphere and it creates a buzz.
On the Academy’s upcoming fixture V City of Hull Academy.
“ Last season when we travelled to Hull we stayed in it for a good portion of the first half then we just fell apart and lost by 30 odd points. It’s always disappointing to travel 4 hours up North and come away with such a big loss. In the same season, when they came to us we beat them which showed great resilience and heart! They must have come into the fixture confident having won comfortably at Bishop Burton.
“ We have some very good edges this season and we’re approaching Saturday’s fixture with a lot of confidence. We have picked up a few wins this season and everyone has prepared well and is fired up for the game. We’re slowly fixing our errors, growing more confident as a team and becoming more and more resilient.
This weekends fixture between City of Hull Academy and London Broncos U19 will be filmed and featured on our youtube channel. Subscribe!