London Skolars

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London Skolars
London Skolars emblem
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 League 1
2014 Championship 1 7th
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 professional since 2003, operating in the Kingstone Press League 1 in the 2015 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.

2015 squad[edit]

* As of 7 November 2014.

2014 Squad Numbers

No Player Position Former club
1 John Paxton Full Back, Wing Gateshead Thunder
2
3 Jaroslaw Obuchowski Centre, Second Row London Skolars Academy
4 Dennis Tuffour Centre, Wing Doncaster RLFC
5 Smokie Junor Wing London Skolars Academy
6
7
8
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
14 Danny Burke Hooker Redcliffe Dolphins
15 Michael Sykes Prop Northern Suburbs
16 Louis Robinson Prop London Broncos
17
18
19 Oliver Bloom Second Row, Prop London Broncos
20 Dion Chapman Second Row Oldham Roughyeds
21 Sam Wellings Loose Forward South Wales Scorpions
22
23 Ade Aderiye Second Row, Loose Forward Gateshead Thunder
24 Kazeem Fatouri-Edwards Wing, Centre Hemel Stags
25 Sam Druce Half Back, Hooker London Skolars
26 Anthony Cox Prop London Broncos
27 Michael Greenhalgh Second Row London Skolars Academy
28 Martin Olima Prop
29 Scott Whitby Second Row, Centre
30 Judd Greenhalgh Second Row
31 Alex Crouch Wing
32 Vincent Morris Centre
33 Thomas Costes Second Row
34 Courtney Davies Half Back South Wales Scorpions

2015 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Club Contract length Date
England James Anthony Newtown Jets 2 Years November 2014
England Will Fairhurst Warrington Wolves 1 Year November 2014
England Mike Benson Oxford RLFC 1 Year December 2014
England Aaron Small Hemel Stags 1 Year December 2014
England Michael Crabtree Oxford RLFC 1 Year December 2014

Losses

Player Club Contract length Date
England Danny Yates Rochdale Hornets 2 Years September 2014
England Rob Thomas Hemel Stags 1 Year September 2014
France Tely Telo AS Carcassonne 2 Years September 2014
England Mufaro Mvududu Hunslet Hawks 2 Years September 2014
England Ollie Purslow Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year November 2014
England Courtney Davies Gloucestershire All Golds 1 Year December 2014
Jamaica Lamont Bryan December 2014
England Dennis Tuffour December 2014
England James Kelly December 2014
England Martyn Smith December 2014
England Thomas Tabb December 2014
England Ibrahim Kabia December 2014
England Martin Olima December 2014

'A' team[edit]

London Skolars run an A team which compete in the South Premier division.

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]