LUKE Yates has revealed his big problem with life in England – and he just cannot stomach it.
But it is not grotty weather or the pace of life in London. Instead his biggest issue is to do with bacon!
The London Broncos forward has established himself as one of the unsung heroes of Super League and his performances, which often include 50 tackles, have not gone unnoticed.
However, his super showings have come against a backdrop of him hating the way Brits cut the meat and what happens when it is heated up.
“It just p***es that white stuff all over the place when you cook it,” back-rower Yates moaned. “At home, we have nice thick cuts of it.
“And life without having a barbecue is pretty different too. I used to cook with it pretty much every night at home.
“Now I live in an apartment, so I don’t have an outdoor area to have one. Also, when it is sunny, everyone seems to go drinking in the park – it’s used as a celebration really but everyone’s happy.”
Yates admits he did not know what he would have done had London not come calling. He was told he was not being offered a new deal by NRL side Newcastle Knights and is part-way through a business degree, which he is still doing by distance learning.
But there were more reasons to come halfway across the world than just being able to make a living playing rugby league.
Not least his brother – a teaching assistant at a pupil referral unit – and best friend – an electrician whose visa actually runs out next month – who both live down the road from the Broncos’ ground in Ealing.
He added: “There was a lot of new stuff to take in. I’d lived with my parents before and moving by myself to London meant things changed.
“I came over on December 3 or 4. I had three days of an Australian summer before coming into a British winter!
“But I was lucky my brother, Jack, and best mate, Callum, were already here. I actually sat down at home and said, ‘How perfect would that be?’
“So I’m living with them, meaning things weren’t a massive surprise and pretty much all the London players live in the same area.”
London have stunned just about everyone this year by winning six games, meaning they went into the weekend’s games of the bottom when so many expected them to be cast adrift.
But the job is not yet over, the 24-year-old insists there is still work to do and a job to complete, starting with tomorrow’s trip to Castleford.
Yates said: “It’s not good being down at the bottom and being in the relegation fight but the way we’re playing shows we shouldn’t be there.
“In the last four or five weeks, we’ve been the form team in Super League. We mentioned after beating St Helens that we don’t want to be waiting until the last five games, the must win games start now.
“I was optimistic before I came as I was told my style would really suit the game over here by Newcastle coach Nathan Brown, who coached Huddersfield and St Helens.
“London are similar to how Newcastle were in that we’re the underdogs at the bottom of the table but having to win games builds character of a team.
“And the fact everyone is so close together means spirit off the field is fantastic, which is really helping us at the moment. Now we’ve started hitting our straps and it’s all about not getting relegated.”