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Skolars v Hemel in season opener

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SKOLARS V HEMEL IN CHAMPIONSHIP OPENER

26th November 2012, 9:29

Three new teams from the South in Championship One promise to make the 2013 competition the best ever. London Skolars will kick off their campaign at home with a local derby against new boys Hemel Stags on Good Friday, March 29th.

The other two new clubs, Gloucestershire All Golds Oxford Rugby League, will face off against each other in their first professional fixture on the same day.

The new nine-team Championship One season will be the most geographically-diverse ever.

Prior to the league season commencing, the Championship One clubs, minus Oxford, will be involved in the group stages of a re-structured Northern Rail Cup competition which begins on the weekend of March 2nd and 3rd.

The eight Championship One clubs involved will compete in two groups of four with the top team in each group then progressing to join all 14 Championship clubs in the knock-out rounds when the competition intensifies in May, with the chance to secure the first silverware of the season on the weekend of July 20th and 21st looming large on the horizon.

RFL Chief Operating Officer Ralph Rimmer said: “There is a real sense of anticipation surrounding the 2013 campaign and the introductions of Hemel, Gloucester and Oxford to the professional ranks has generated real interest in the Championship One competition.

“These clubs all offer the sport a unique opportunity to take games into areas where we haven’t been before and the potential to attract new fans, players and volunteers is something that we are all very excited about.

“The enthusiasm with which all three clubs have embraced their introduction to the professional ranks has been a real boost to the Championships and with those clubs joining North Wales Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions, London Skolars, Gateshead Thunder, Rochdale and Oldham, Championship One is certainly pushing the game’s geographical boundaries.”

The new-look 14-team Championship will deliver 26 rounds of regular season action before climaxing with the Grand Final which will once again be played as part of the Championships Finals Day in front of the Premier Sports cameras in September. Before the Championship title is decided, the Championship One crown will be up for grabs on Finals Day.

Premier Sports will broadcast over 30 live games throughout the course of the year.

“With new clubs, new players and three new-look competitions, I believe this is going to be the most exciting and important Championships season ever,” added Rimmer.

Championship One fixtures:

ROUND 1

Friday March 29

Gloucestershire All Golds v Oxford (TBC)

London Skolars v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

Oldham v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

Monday April 1

South Wales Scorpions v North Wales Crusaders (TBC Premier Sports)

ROUND 2

Sunday April 14

Gloucestershire All Golds v Oldham (3:00pm)

Hemel Stags v Gateshead Thunder (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v London Skolars (2:30pm)

Oxford v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

ROUND 3

Sunday April 28

Hemel Stags v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v Gateshead Thunder (2:30pm)

Oldham v Oxford (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

ROUND 4

Sunday May 5

Gateshead Thunder v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

London Skolars v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

Oxford v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

ROUND 5

Sunday May 12

Gateshead Thunder v South Wales Scorpions (1:00pm)

Hemel Stags v Oldham (3:00pm)

Oxford v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v London Skolars (3:00pm)

ROUND 6

Sunday May 26

Gloucestershire All Golds v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

London Skolars v Oxford (3:00pm)

Oldham v Gateshead Thunder (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

ROUND 7

Sunday June 2

North Wales Crusaders v Gloucestershire All Golds (2:30pm)

Oldham v London Skolars (3:00pm)

Oxford v Gateshead Thunder (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

ROUND 8

Sunday June 9

Gateshead Thunder v London Skolars (2:00pm)

Gloucestershire All Golds v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v Oldham (2:30pm)

Rochdale Hornets v Oxford (3:00pm)

ROUND 9

Sunday June 16

Gateshead Thunder v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

Hemel Stags v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

London Skolars v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Oldham (3:00pm)

ROUND 10

Sunday June 23

Gloucestershire All Golds v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

London Skolars v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

Oldham v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Oxford (3:00pm)

ROUND 11

Sunday June 30

Gateshead Thunder v Oldham (3:00pm)

Hemel Stags v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v Rochdale Hornets (2:30pm)

Oxford v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

ROUND 12

Sunday July 7

Hemel Stags v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

London Skolars v Gateshead Thunder (2:00pm)

Oxford v Oldham (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

ROUND 13

Sunday July 14

Gateshead Thunder v Oxford (3:00pm)

Gloucestershire All Golds v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

Oldham v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

*Friday August 23

London Skolars v North Wales Crusaders (TBC Premier Sports)

ROUND 14

Sunday July 28

Gloucestershire All Golds v London Skolars (3:00pm)

Oldham v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

Oxford v Rochdale Hornets (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v Gateshead Thunder (1:00pm)

ROUND 15

Sunday August 4

Gateshead Thunder v North Wales Crusaders (3:00pm)

Hemel Stags v Oxford (3:00pm)

London Skolars v Oldham (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v South Wales Scorpions (3:00pm)

ROUND 16

Sunday August 11

North Wales Crusaders v Hemel Stags (2:30pm)

Oldham v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v Gateshead Thunder (3:00pm)

South Wales Scorpions v London Skolars (3:00pm)

ROUND 17

Sunday August 18

Gloucestershire All Golds v Gateshead Thunder (3:00pm)

Hemel Stags v London Skolars (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v Oxford (2:30pm)

Rochdale Hornets v Oldham (7:30pm Premier Sports)

ROUND 18

Sunday September 1

Gateshead Thunder v Hemel Stags (3:00pm)

North Wales Crusaders v South Wales Scorpions (2:30pm)

Oxford v London Skolars (3:00pm)

Rochdale Hornets v Gloucestershire All Golds (3:00pm)

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Have the all golds sorted a ground yet?

They'll be playing at the Prince of Wales stadium won't they? I thought that was a given?

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They'll be playing at the Prince of Wales stadium won't they? I thought that was a given?

hmm has a running track I think? Not my fave thing at all

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hmm has a running track I think? Not my fave thing at all

Beggars can't be choosers mate, they are a brand new club and its a perfectly fine stadium for Championship 1 rugby.

Give them a few years to grow and they might end up groundsharing at Whaddon Road... ;)

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Beggars can't be choosers mate, they are a brand new club and its a perfectly fine stadium for Championship 1 rugby.

But what of parking, what of catering?

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But what of parking, what of catering?

Both quite ample, and the crows are absolutely massive...

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They'll be playing at the Prince of Wales stadium won't they? I thought that was a given?

Tight fit on those pitch markings.

Track_POW.png

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Aye. Hunslet, York & Sheffield all manage it though. Its not completely ideal but thats life.

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Tight fit on those pitch markings.

Track_POW.png

Mmn. Very tight.

Dive over for a try and you could be into those white boxes (hopefully they are padded!)

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Both quite ample, and the crows are absolutely massive...

Blimey.

We're going meta with our in-jokes tonight.

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Just interested to know the player/squad position for Hemel next season.I like the way they go about things,so I don't want you to spend money you don't have,but have you been able to improve the squad in order to be competitive? A couple of young,hungry Aussies wanting to spend a 'free' year in the U.K.?

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Gutted to see the number of home fixture clashes for Skolars and Hemel having renewed ny

season ticket at Skolars and purchased one for Hemel.

Oh well will get to Hemel as much as possible.

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Just interested to know the player/squad position for Hemel next season.I like the way they go about things,so I don't want you to spend money you don't have,but have you been able to improve the squad in order to be competitive? A couple of young,hungry Aussies wanting to spend a 'free' year in the U.K.?

We have recruited well and expect to be competitive on the field (no I don't mean super league in 3 years time). Preseason started a couple of weeks ago and the lads are gelling well. At Hemel we do things to be sustainable so will not be tearing up our budget to impress in the short term and pay for it in the long term. We have picked up a couple of overseas players who should go well.

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Gutted to see the number of home fixture clashes for Skolars and Hemel having renewed ny

season ticket at Skolars and purchased one for Hemel.

Oh well will get to Hemel as much as possible.

yes, that's a real shame in my opinion. Have got a Hemel ST but was hoping to get to a lot of Skolars games as well.I'm sure there would be a fair few like us who would overlap between the two clubs so a few bob missing from both clubs coffers there.

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Aye. Hunslet, York & Sheffield all manage it though. Its not completely ideal but thats life.

Exactly.

Great way to start the new season. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the new boys progress. Best of luck to 'em.

In other news, Gillingham-based Medway Dragons are 5-years-old today! :)

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By way of Hemel update, @ianramsdale has just tweeted these:

"Hemel Stags appoint former Skolars Jermaine Coleman as assistant coach & player, with community coach Matt Lambert as strength & conditioner"

"Dan Stocks, who has been with Hemel since he was young and has coached South of England Students, amongst others, also joins coaching set-up"

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