Toronto gear up for historic first league fixture against London Skolars

London Skolars welcome the sport’s brand new transatlantic side Toronto Wolfpack to New River Stadium on Saturday in the opening round of the new League 1 season.

Both sides progressed to the next round of the Challenge Cup last weekend after Toronto beat Siddal and the Skolars beat Hemel, and Wolfpack coach Paul Rowley believes that game was a good hitout for his side to have ahead of the game against London.

“It was a good win for us and we played very well,” he said. They made us work hard and the conditions were unbelievable in terms of being a leveller. It was a war of attrition but it taught me that we’re a tough set and willing to roll our sleeves up when we need to.”

Looking ahead to their first game in League 1, Rowley continued: “We know London Skolars are another big set, they’re a good side with big and talented players in their ranks.

“We’ve prepared like we would for anyone else with respect, they got a couple of scalps at their ground last season so we’ll have to be very good to get the result down there.

“Everyone’s talking us up and labelling us as a big spending side but we don’t need any frills and spills to play our trade.

“Any win would be great but with it being our first game in League 1 it would be extra special, we’ve got a lot of keen observers so it would be good for us.”

Skolars coach Jermaine Coleman said: “It was good to get a hit out last weekend, we’ve had the League 1 Cup and then the Challenge Cup to use as sort of pre-season friendlies for us. It’s an opportunity to play against other teams in our division and get any cobwebs out of the way for the start of the season.”

“We’ve prepared like it’s any other league game this week. There’s a lot of hype around them but we just see it as an opportunity to piggy back on to that and showcase what we’re about in London and what we’re trying to do and build here.

“I think for them last week’s game against Siddal was quite tough but having that extra bit of fitness and quality made sure they played out of the bag when they needed to. I don’t think anyone can really read too much into that game though other than if you want to play against them you have to be at your peak and give it your all.”