London Skolars

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London Skolars
Skolars.png
Coat of arms
Club information
Full name London Skolars Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s) Skolars
Website skolarsrl.com
Colours Skolscolours.svg
Founded 1995; 19 years ago (1995) (as Student Rugby League Old Boys)
Current details
Ground(s)
Coach(s) Joe Mbu
Captain(s) David Williams
Competition Kingstone Press Championship 1
2013 Championship 1 4th
Records
London League 3 (2000, 2001, 2004)
RLC Challenge Cup 1 (2004)
RLC Southern Division 1 (2000)
RLC London & South Division 1 (2002)
Middlesex 9s 1 (2003)

London Skolars are a rugby league club based at the New River Stadium, Wood Green, Haringey in North London. They were founded in 1995 and have been semi-professional since 2003, operating in the Kingstone Press Championship 1 in 2013 season.[1] They also run an A-team (formerly known as Haringey Hornets) that play in the South Premier Division of the Rugby League Conference.

History[edit]

Student Rugby League Old Boys were founded in 1995 by Ian "Hector" McNeil. They were initially created for post-university graduates in London, with a number of ex-student international rugby league players.[1] The team originally played at Hackney RFC. The club quickly went "open"; relying on players from the student game and London-based antipodeans as well as local players.

The club name was changed to London Skolars two years later as they nearly got a big sponsorship from Skol. After initial success in the London League, in 1997 the club became a founder member of the Southern Conference League (the forerunner to the Rugby League Conference), under the name North London Skolars, and won the inaugural competition.[1] They also moved to New River Stadium. Later in 1997, they entered the National Conference League and were the only club south of Sheffield in the competition for four consecutive seasons.

In 1998 Skolars hosted Strella XIII, the first time a team from Tatarstan had toured Great Britain. During the 1999 season, the Skolars toured Russia, the first time that an amateur club had toured the former Soviet Union.[1]

Skolars first team won the Southern Division of the Rugby League Conference in 2000 and the second team won the London League that same year. The second team won the London League again in 2001.

In 2002 the club applied to join the National Leagues and was accepted, the first club in eighty years to make the transition from the amateur ranks to the professional leagues.[1] The A team joined the Conference and won the London & South Division in its first year.

In 2003, the Skolars first season in National League 2, they finished bottom of the league,[2] but made further progress in 2004. They won the Middlesex 9s whilst the A team won the London League and the RL Challenge Cup. The club dropped "North" from their name to become London Skolars. The appointment of Latham Tawhai as a full-time coach at the end of the 2005 season marked another step forward in the club's progress.

Tawhai left Skolars at the end of 2007 to become assistant coach at Harlequins Rugby League and was replaced by Tony Benson.[3]

Tony Benson left his job at London Skolars at the end of the season due to the inconvenience of travelling from his home in Leigh, Greater Manchester.[1] Callum Irving took over as head coach at the club, Irving was Tony Benson's number two in the 2008 season. He resigned in July 2009, citing personal reasons. Injured player Jermaine Coleman took over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season. The club appointed its first full-time chief executive officer in 2009, Phillip Browne, who was replaced in 2010 by Howard Kramer. The Skolars finished the 2009 in 10th position of the Championship One table, taking the wooden spoon with just one win all season and five points. London Skolars announced that James Massara, a Hammersmith-born thirty-two-year-old will take the reins as head coach at New River Stadium in 2010. In October 2010 the London Skolars appointed former Harlequins Rugby League player Joe Mbu as their head coach.

In 2013, London finished 4th in the 2013 Championship 1 season. That was the first time they finished in the play-offs in their Championship 1 venture. However they didn't achieve promotion after being knocked out in the semi-finals.

On 13 April 2014, the Skolars announced they will be playing 6 home games (May–August) at Enfield Town FC due to their home ground, New River, was having a new 4G pitch and new floodlights installed and the main stand was being refurbished.

2014 squad[edit]

* As of 3 March 2014.

2014 Squad Numbers

No Player Position Former club
1 John Paxton Full Back, Wing Gateshead Thunder
2 Iliess Macani Wing London Broncos – Dual Reg
3 Jaroslaw Obuchowski Centre, Second Row London Skolars Academy
4 Dennis Tuffour Centre, Wing Doncaster RLFC
5 Smokie Junor Wing London Skolars Academy
6 Tony Gigot Stand Off London Broncos – Dual Reg
7 Matt Bradley Scrum Half Gloucestershire All Golds
8 Rob Thomas Prop, Hooker London Broncos
9 Martyn Smith Hooker London Broncos
10 David Williams Prop, Second Row London Broncos
11 Lamont Bryan Second Row, Centre Featherstone Rovers
12 Michael Worrincy Second Row Penrith Panthers
13 Ollie Purslow Loose Forward, Utility London Broncos
14 Danny Burke Hooker Redcliffe Dolphins
15 Michael Sykes Prop Northern Suburbs
16 Louis Robinson Prop London Broncos
17 Patelisio Pelo Second Row, Prop Avignon Bisons
18 Mufaro Mvududu Second Row Featherstone Rovers
19 Oliver Bloom Second Row, Prop London Broncos
20 Dion Chapman Second Row Oldham Roughyeds
21 Sam Wellings Loose Forward South Wales Scorpions
22 Courtney Davies Half Back South Wales Scorpions
23 Ade Aderiye Second Row, Loose Forward Gateshead Thunder
24 Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards Wing, Centre Hemel Stags
25 Sam Druce Half Back, Hooker
26 Anthony Cox Prop London Broncos
27 Michael Greenhalgh Second Row London Skolars Academy
28 Lloyd O'Connor Hooker
29 Scott Whitby Second Row, Centre
30 Judd Greenhalgh Second Row
31 Thomas Tabb Centre Sale Sharks
32 Ryan MacDonald Prop North Wales Crusaders – On Loan
33 Vincent Morris Centre
34 Alex Crouch Wing
35 Dan Parkinson-Burgan Half Back
36 Thomas Costes Second Row
37 Martin Olima Prop

2014 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Club Contract length Date
Matt Bradley Gloucestershire All Golds December 2013
Courtney Davies South Wales Scorpions December 2013
Lamont Bryan Featherstone Rovers January 2014
Patelisio Pelo Avignon Bisons February 2014
Mufaro Mvududu Featherstone Rovers March 2014

Losses

Player Club Contract length Date
Jimmy Morgan Hemel Stags December 2013
Evan Simons Hemel Stags December 2013
Ciaren Clement-Pascal Hemel Stags December 2013
Dylan Skee Australia December 2013
James Anthony Newtown Jets December 2013
Joe Price Released December 2013
Ade Adebisi Released December 2013
Joe Ridley Released December 2013
David Stephenson Released December 2013
Chris McNamara Released December 2013
James Roche Released December 2013
Alex Anthony Released December 2013
Lameck Juma Released December 2013
Jack Dillon Released December 2013
Andy McLean Released December 2013

Juniors[edit]

Skolars run under-12s, under-14s and under-16s teams who all compete in the London Junior League.

Club honours[edit]

  • Harry Jepson Trophy: 1997, 2012
  • RLC Eastern Division: 1997* (The tournament was known as the Southern Conference in 1997)
  • RLC Southern Division: 2000
  • RLC London & South Division: 2002
  • Middlesex 9s: 2003
  • RLC Challenge Cup: 2004
  • London League: 2000, 2001, 2004

Coaching register[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Oxford league inspires : Oxford Rugby League v. London Skolars (match programme). Oxford: Oxford Rugby League. 2013. 
  2. ^ "Hull KR shock Salford". BBC Sport. 8 September 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "'BENSON MAKES SKOLARS SWITCH". Sportinglife. 3 December 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 

External links[edit]