London Clash 2017: Ticket Update

Tickets for London Clash 2017 are now only available via our ticketing partners Eventbrite:

Tickets are currently priced at the early bird discount rate of £10 but will increase to £12 at 7pm this evening (27/01/17).

Tickets will also be available on the gate tomorrow or via Eventbrite throughout the day.

Best wishes to everyone for 2017. Once again we launched the London RL season in style on Friday at the HAC, welcoming Super League Champions Wigan Warriors once again.  I don’t think a better rugby event exists anywhere in the world and this year both teams gave us a game to remember.


We have arguably had our most successful pre-season to date – having recruited well, focussed on key areas that needed to be strengthened, and also recruited players who are a good fit for the club, we aim to build on the success of 2016.


When reviewing last year, it is clear we were significantly weaker than some of our rivals who progressed from the Super 8’s to the semi-finals. We have spent our pre-season working towards addressing these areas and players and coaches alike have shown a hunger and determination to step up in 2017.

The board continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes and the Capital Challenge is always a pleasant way to start our season especially when we win.  From our perspective, we were pretty dominant throughout the game, until the final ten minutes, where a combination of superb match fitness and some complacency from the Skolars team allowed Wigan back in to the game. These are areas that we will work on to ensure we don’t repeat these mistakes in our League 1 games.


It was great to see skipper Dave Williams lift the Capital Challenge Trophy – Dave seems to be in the best shape of his career and is playing his best rugby.  Can’t think of anyone more deserving.  Without highlighting individuals, it was exciting to see the new recruits and younger members of the squad perform to such a high standard, whilst the established players have also benefitted from a focussed pre-season and are looking in great shape.  We had several notable absentees form the game on Friday, either through injury or unavailability, once everyone is available, every player will be under pressure to maintain a place in the 17. Saturday is another test – we will look to build further momentum and iron-out some of the flaws from last week.  It’s a great day for the sport in London – three very significant consecutive fixtures, that clearly demonstrates the strength in depth of London RL.  By the time I write my next column, we will have played the South Wales Ironmen in the League 1 Cup – the competition worked well for us last year, and we narrowly missed out on a place in the final.  We will be looking to go one better in 2017.  Following our trip to South Wales, all focus will be on the League 1 debutantes, Toronto Wolfpack.  We will provide a warm welcome to our friends from across the Atlantic who in many ways are following in the footsteps of the Skolars -we wish them every success following their visit to New River on March 4th.


Hope to see you all at New River on Saturday.



Director of Rugby

London Skolars


London Skolars Head Coach Jermaine Coleman has named a strong squad for this weekend’s ‘London Clash’.

After last week’s successful start to his pre-season campaign against a young Wigan side, Coleman will be looking for his squad to take another step forward this weekend against what should be a competitive Broncos side at New River.

The London Skolars squad for the ‘London Clash’

Jake Melling

Sam Nash

Joshua Allinson

Lameck Juma

Michael Brown

Mike Bishay

Charlie Lawrence

Louis Robinson

Billy Driver

Dave Williams

Lamont Bryan

Eddie Mbaraga

Ryan Chester

Michael Sykes

Erjon Dollapi

Will Martin

Will Fairhurst

Michael Greenhalgh

Jordan Williams

Aaron Small

Callum Whitcombe

Coleman spoke of the upcoming game

‘We enjoyed last week and I think it was a real boost for the boys to get the win, however whilst we were good in parts, we were pretty harsh with each other in the video review and have worked hard in training to put these right.

The whole squad are well aware what happened in this fixture last year and  I know the boys and coaching staff are really focused on putting together a good performance this weekend against the Broncos. We are building towards our first competitive game in just under 3 weeks time and so need to make sure each opportunity we have we take steps forward.’

The game forms part of what is planned to be a superb day of Rugby League in the Capital, with SW Chargers and West Warriors bringing their Challenge Cup fixtures to New River. The action kicks off at 1pm, the bar will be open and hot food available, so please get down early and enjoy the London Clash.

Tickets are available in advance for £10 and are online at


London Skolars 26 Wigan Warriors 22


Ten years after the first annual Capital Challenge game at the Honourable Artillery Club on the edge of London’s financial district, Skolars won for the first time, but they were pushed hard by a determined young Wigan side, comprised predominantly of the Under 19s side that reached their Grand Final last season.


In their first pre-season game of the year, Skolars took the lead early, gaining a penalty close to their tryline then firing the ball to the wing for Sam Nash to score, Mike Bishay adding a goal line conversion. They went further ahead after another extended period of possession, this time after forcing a goal-line drop out. The ball went out to the right again, but this time Eddie Mbaraga took the ball to the line and powered his way through the defence.


The visitors hit back taking adavantage of a Skolars’ error from a high kick, with Callum Wood hacking the ball on 30 metres out for James Barran to win the chase to the tryline, Oliver Russell adding the extras.  However, Skolars continued to dominate and were rewarded when Billy Driver went over from dummy half. Mike Bishay forced another goal line drop out, but Wigan held out and it was 14-6 to Skolars at the break.


Skolars started the second half the way they had left off. After a period of domination, Lamont Bryan using his physical advantage to brush past the defence. A kick to the wing saw Callum Whitcombe pat the ball back and Bishay was in support to race to the tryline, Charlie Lawrence kicking his second conversion of the half.


However, with the game approaching the hour mark, Wigan started a comeback. A flighted pass from Tom Maloney struck a Skolars’ hand before Joe Brown caught the ball to score on the left. After Maloney was held-up over the line, Barran went over in the corner.


After a melee that saw Joe Pilling and Aaron Small receive red cards, Wigan were able to find more gaps in the defence. First Tom Maloney finished off a move by Sam Grant and James Worthington down the right. Six minutes later Joe Brown touched down from a Sammy Kibula pass, but having missed all four conversions in the half they were still four points behind with two minutes remaining. They pushed the ball to the right, but Skolars got a hand to it and the clock wound down. After the resulting scrum, Louis Robinson caught a short kick and Skolars could start to celebrate.


Their Head Coach Jermaine Coleman was cautious in victory, mindful of the long season ahead. “I’m pleased with the fantastic result but slightly disappointed with the second half, we let in too many points, but that’s down to game fitness, fatigue and player rotation”.



20 Jake Melling

2 Sam Nash

3 Aaron Small

4 Lameck Juma

5 James Hill

7 Mike Bishay

9 Charlie Lawrence

8 Louis Robinson

9 Billy Driver

10 Dave Williams

11 Lamont Bryan

12 Eddie Mbaraga

13 Ryan Chester


Subs (all used)

15 Kazeem Faturoti

16 Will Fairhurst

18 Michael Greenhalgh

21 Callum Whitcombe

22 John Paxton

23 Will Martin

24 Michael Brown

25 Michael Sykes

27 Josh Allinson

28 Jordan Williams

29 Dan Ljazouli


Tries: Nash (8), Mbaraga (16), Driver (30), Bryan (48), Bishay (53)

Goals: Bishay 1/3, Lawrence 2/2



1 Craig Mullen

2 Joe Brown

3 James Barran

4 James Worthington

5 Sam Grant

6 Harry Smith

7 Oliver Russell

8 Caine Barnes

9 Callum Wood

10 Kyle Shelford

11 Joe Pilling

12 Liam Paisley

13 Patrick Casey


Subs (all used)

14 Nico Rizelli

15 Oliver Partington

16 Liam Byrnes

17 Aidan Rodan

18 Aidan Sutton

19 Tom Maloney

20 Nathaniel Marshall

21 Sammy Kibola


Tries: Barran (21,61), Brown (57,77), Maloney (71)

Goals:  Russell 1/1, Barran 0/1, Smith 0/1, Brown 0/2
Penalty count: 7-6


Half-time: 14-6

Referee: Matt Rossleigh

Attendance: 675


SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 10-0, 10-6, 14-6, 20-6, 26-6, 26-10, 26-14, 26-18, 26-22


By: Andrew Jackson

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