London Skolars

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London Skolars
London Skolars emblem
Club information
Full nameLondon Skolars Rugby League Football Club
Founded1995; 24 years ago (1995) (as Student Rugby League Old Boys)
Current details
ChairmanTerry Browne
CoachJermaine Coleman
ManagerJac Davies
CaptainLouis Robinson
CompetitionLeague 1
2018 season12th
Rugby football current event.png Current season
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.


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. 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 to 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]

2019 squad[edit]

London Skolars 2019 squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

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

Updated: 11 February 2018
Source(s): 2018 Squad numbers

2019 transfers[edit]


Player Club Contract length Date
Xavier Rice Northcote Tigers N/A February 2019
Richard Wilkinson Doncaster R.L.F.C. 1 year December 2018
Liam Scott Newcastle Thunder 2 years November 2018
Elliot Jennings Maitland 1 year November 2018
Ilies Macani Sheffield Eagles N/A November 2018
Malikhi Lloyd-Jones Coventry Bears 1 year November 2018
Ronny Palumbo Toulouse Olympique XIII 1 year March 2019
Omari Caro Bradford Bulls 1 Year December 2017[7]
Rob Tuliatu West Wales Raiders 1 year March 2019


Player Club Contract length Date
Ben Pointer Newcastle Thunder 1 Year October 2017
Dave Williams Retirement N/A October 2017
Jy-mel Coleman Newcastle Thunder 1 year December 2018
Ollie Purslow Coventry Bears 1 year December 2018

'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.



  • 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

History of coaches[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
  7. ^ "Bradford Bulls utility man Goodall eyes Boxing Day debut". Telegraph & Argus. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2018.

External links[edit]