London Skolars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

London Skolars
Club information
Full nameLondon Skolars Rugby League Football Club
Founded1995; 27 years ago (1995)
(as Student Rugby League Old Boys)
Current details
CEOColin Browne
ChairmanAdrian Fraine
CoachJoe Mbu
ManagerCharlie DeHaan
CaptainLouis Robinson
CompetitionLeague 1
2021 season9th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
Home colours
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.


The club was founded by Ian "Hector" McNeil in 1995 as Student Rugby League Old Boys, created for post-university graduates based in London who wished to continue playing competitive rugby league, with a number of ex-student international rugby league players as members.[1] The team originally played at Hackney RFC. The club quickly went "open", drawing not only from players from the student game but also London-based antipodeans and local rugby players.

The club name was changed to London Skolars two years later in 1997, partly to refer humorously to their academic origins but primarily due to a potential sponsorship from Skol lager. 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 at this time. 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 led 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]

2022 squad[edit]

London Skolars 2021 squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

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

Updated: 2 March 2021
Source(s): 2021 Squad

2022 transfers[edit]


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
Marcus Hockey London Broncos 1 Year January 2021
Christian Gale London Broncos 1 Year January 2021


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
Costa Charalambous Toowoomba Brothers 1 Year April 2021
Kayne Chan-Kitchener Released N/A April 2021
Cariern Clement-Pascall Released N/A April 2021
Julius Hobbs Released N/A April 2021
Iestyn Withers Released N/A April 2021


Past coaches[edit]

'A' team[edit]

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


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


Season League Challenge Cup Other competitions
Division P W D L F A Pts Pos Play-offs
2003 National League Two 18 1 1 16 222 876 3 10th Did not qualify R3
2004 National League Two 18 6 0 12 361 583 12 8th Did not qualify R4 Middlesex 9s W
2005 National League Two 18 2 0 16 258 620 4 10th Did not qualify R3
2006 National League Two 22 5 1 16 406 776 11 9th Did not qualify R4
2007 National League Two 22 8 1 13 448 610 30 9th Did not qualify R4
2008 National League Two 22 4 1 17 449 823 20 11th Did not qualify R4
2009 Championship 1 18 1 0 17 210 927 5 10th Did not qualify R3
2010 Championship 1 20 2 0 18 444 900 10 10th Did not qualify R3
2011 Championship 1 20 5 1 14 433 678 21 9th Did not qualify R4
2012 Championship 1 18 7 1 10 558 560 26 7th Did not qualify R3
2013 Championship 1 16 10 0 6 489 468 32 4th Lost in Preliminary Final R3
2014 Championship 1 19 5 14 0 443 609 23 7th Did not qualify R4
2015 Championship 1 22 5 17 0 388 671 10 11th Did not qualify R3
2016 League 1 21 8 0 13 470 650 16 8th Did not qualify R3
2017 League 1 15 6 1 8 367 453 13 11th Lost in Shield Final R4
2018 League 1 26 6 1 19 626 887 13 12th Did not qualify R3
2019 League 1 20 7 1 12 440 542 15 8th Did not qualify R3
2020 League 1 League abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom R3
2021 League 1 18 3 1 14 372 605 7 9th Did not qualify Did not participate



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


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


  • Middlesex 9s:
Winners (1): 2003


  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]