Harlequins will host the first professional rugby league double header with London Skolars at Twickenham Stoop on June 12.
The day will bring together all elements of the sport in London and the South East with all the community and amateur fixtures being played in the West London area ahead of the double header.
After the completion of the community fixtures at various venues in the region, London Skolars will begin proceedings with their Cooperative Championship 1 fixture against York City Knights at 2.30pm, before Harlequins play their engage Super League fixture against reigning champions Leeds Rhinos at 5pm. The day promises to an epic one for sports fans who, after the Quins RL game, can watch England’s World Cup group game against the USA on big screens in the bars.
This will be the first London Double Header ever held between the capitals two professional rugby league clubs and marks a new chapter in their close working relationship.
The two clubs compete against one another annually in the ETF Securities Capital Challenge, a preseason match in the City of London which will take place next year on Friday 22nd January, and introduced an enormously successful corporate touch tournament at the same venue this year which will be repeated next summer. There are also a number of commercial and marketing initiatives under development between The Clubs
The Clubs have also entered into a dual registration agreement which will see a number of Quins RL squad players training with, and playing for Skolars. It is also likely that there will be a number of players loaned from Quins during the season which will provide player and development benefits for both Clubs.
Harlequins Rugby League General Manager, Paul Blanchard, said: “I think that this is a real statement of intent by the game in the region. Relationships between Quins RL, Skolars and London RL have never been better and more collaborative and we must use this event to showcase our fantastic sport and show how much progress we are making. I don’t know of any other sport that would embrace this sort of joined up thinking”
London Skolars Chairman, Hector McNeil, said: “This is a really exciting development and has to beneficial to the sport as a whole in the region. The double header is great opportunity for our players to play at The Stoop in front of large and knowledgeable crowd.
“The working relationship between the two clubs is excellent and we would expect to particularly benefit from the dual registration system and I know that Head Coach James Massara is excited at working with the players. James will also benefit from the support that Brian McDermott and his team are providing.”
Dan Steel, RFL Regional Manager for London and the South East, said: “The game has made enormous progress in development terms in the last few years with 2009 seeing over 1800 junior players and 1500 senior players registered in the region, stemming from 122 teams across 41 clubs.
“This partnership with London’s two professional clubs really enhances the excellent work undertaken by the full time staff in the region, alongside the great efforts of a growing number of volunteers, coaches, match officials, and supporters. It also highlights the pathway for the elite home grown players and coaches of the future.”
Tickets for the double header will be available in the New Year.