London Skolars

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London Skolars
Skolars.png
Club information
Full nameLondon Skolars Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s)Skolars
ColoursSkolscolours.svg
Founded1995; 26 years ago (1995)
(as Student Rugby League Old Boys)
Websiteskolarsrl.com
Current details
Ground(s)
CEOColin Browne
ChairmanAdrian Fraine
CoachJermaine Coleman
ManagerCharlie DeHaan
CaptainLouis Robinson
CompetitionLeague 1
2018 season12th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Uniforms
Home colours
Records
London League3 (2000, 2001, 2004)
RLC Challenge Cup1 (2004)
RLC Southern Division1 (2000)
RLC London & South Division1 (2002)
Middlesex 9s1 (2003)

The London Skolars are a professional 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 Betfred League 1.[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 Two, 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. 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 RL 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][dead link] 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 would take the reins as head coach at New River Stadium in 2010. In October 2010 the London Skolars appointed former Harlequins RL 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, although they didn't achieve promotion after being knocked out in the semi-finals.

In 2014, Joe Mbu lead the Skolars to 7th place out of 9. After a heavy defeat by Swinton Lions in the Challenge Cup at the beginning of the 2015 season, London Skolars released Mbu from his contract on 9 March.[4]

On 18 March 2015, Skolars appointed ex-player and then current Hemel Stags assistant coach Jermaine Coleman as head coach.[5] Coleman in his first season 11th out of 14 teams. Recruiting and retaining strongly, Coleman lead the Skolars to a top 8 playoff place after a 23–22 win over the Gloucestershire All Golds.[6]

2021 squad[edit]

London Skolars 2021 squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)

Updated: 11 February 2020
Source(s): 2021 Squad

2021 transfers[edit]

In

Player Club Contract length Date
Eddie Mbaraga Unattached 1 Year November 2020
Alfie Edwards London Broncos 1 Year November 2020
Tom Firth London Broncos 1 Year November 2020
Adam Vrahnos Rochdale Mayfield 1 Year November 2020
Errol Carter Unattached 1 Year December 2020
Daley Williams Unattached 2 Years January 2021

Out

Player Club Contract length Date
Matt Ross Toulouse Olympique 2 Years November 2020
Max Clarke Montpellier Sharks 2 Years November 2020
Shay North Montpellier Sharks 2 Years November 2020

Players[edit]

Past coaches[edit]

'A' team[edit]

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

Juniors[edit]

Skolars run under-7s,under-9s,under-11s, under-13s under-15s and under-17s teams who all compete in the London Junior League.

Seasons[edit]

Season League Challenge Cup Play-offs Other competitions
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos
2003 National League Two 18 1 1 16 222 876 3 10th R3 Did not qualify
2004 National League Two 18 6 0 12 361 583 12 8th R4 Did not qualify Middlesex 9s W
2005 National League Two 18 2 0 16 258 620 4 10th R3 Did not qualify
2006 National League Two 22 5 1 16 406 776 11 9th R4 Did not qualify
2007 National League Two 22 8 1 13 448 610 30 9th R4 Did not qualify
2008 National League Two 22 4 1 17 449 823 20 11th R4 Did not qualify
2009 Championship 18 1 0 17 210 927 5 10th R3 Did not qualify
2010 Championship 1 20 2 0 18 444 900 10 10th R3 Did not qualify
2011 Championship 1 20 5 1 14 433 678 21 9th R4 Did not qualify
2012 Championship 1 18 7 1 10 558 560 26 7th R3 Did not qualify
2013 Championship 1 16 10 0 6 489 468 32 4th R3 Lost in Preliminary Final
2014 Championship 1 19 5 14 0 443 609 23 7th R4 Did not qualify
2015 Championship 1 22 5 17 0 388 671 10 11th R3 Did not qualify
2016 League 1 21 8 0 13 470 650 16 8th R3 Did not qualify
2017 League 1 15 6 1 8 367 453 13 11th R4 Lost in Shield Final
2018 League 1 26 6 1 19 626 887 13 12th R3 Did not qualify
2019 League 1 20 7 1 12 440 542 15 8th R3 Did not qualify
2020 League 1 League abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom R3 Did not qualify
2021 League 1

Honours[edit]

League

  • RFL London League:
Winners (3): 2000, 2001, 2004
  • Conference South Division:
Winners (2): 2000, 2002
  • Conference Eastern Division:
Winners (1): 1997

Cups

  • Conference Challenge Cup:
Winners (1): 2004
  • Harry Jepson Trophy:
Winners (2): 1997, 2012

Nines

  • Middlesex 9s:
Winners (1): 2003

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. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2007.
  4. ^ London Skolars » London Skolars Press Release – Joe Mbu Leaves Skolars
  5. ^ London Skolars » Skolars Announce Former Player Jermaine Coleman As New Head Coach
  6. ^ London Skolars » Jy-mel Coleman Secures Top 8 Spot for Skolars

External links[edit]