After an absence of nearly fifteen years, Rugby League returns to East London in the shape of Phantoms RL.
Phantoms RL is the sister club of Phantoms Rugby Union club, which is well known in Rugby Union circles for its diverse nature (boasting players from a wide range of countries, including Lithuania, Brazil, Egypt and Sri Lanka) and a strong commitment to player development.
These traditions seem set to continue with the sister club recruiting former London Skolar Mark Scoltock as Head Coach. Mark, a Level II qualified coach with over thirty years experience in the thirteen-man game, held an enthusiastic first training session recently, with players being coached in the basics of a rugby code they had only previously experienced on television - if at all! These newcomers also benefited from the guidance of their Antipodean team mates, who are expected to provide the rookie club with some League savvy and "mongrel" spirit in the season ahead.
Phantoms RL are set to compete in the London League this year and, with number of fixtures already in place, are now looking for new players to complement the playing squad. Whatever experience or standard you find yourself at, the club would be keen to welcome you along to training on a Monday night and share a pint with you in the bar afterwards.
As David Yems, founder of Phantoms RL, states "As an armchair supporter of Rugby League for many years, supporting both the Broncos and of course now Quins RL, I've always had an interest in playing the 13 man code. After discussions with teammates at Phantoms, it turned out that I wasn't the only one and from there Phantoms RL was born. What excites me about this project is that there must be large areas of London, such as the City, Docklands, East London, that are relatively untouched by League and it is these areas that we want to bring the game to. Experienced or a first timer, top quality player or someone eager to improve, there is a home for you at Phantoms RL."
For further details on Phantoms RL, please contact David on email at email@example.com or check out the club's facebook page, "Phantoms RL - Rugby League for East London".
Training takes place every Monday from 7pm onwards at East London RUFC, which is three minutes walk from West Ham underground station. Simply exit the station and turn left (following the signs to "East London Rugby Football Club") until you reach the clubhouse - you will notice the rugby pitches as you get closer. Go inside and ask for Phantoms RL.
About the club
Phantoms RL are a new Rugby League club based in West Ham. Only three stops away from Canary Wharf on the Jubilee Line, seven stops from the City on the District Line and minutes from Fenchurch Street on the c2c, Phantoms RL are ideally located for any League enthusiasts based in Docklands or the City.
Head coach Joe Grima has made just one change to last week's 19-man squad with Atelea Vea coming back from suspension to replace the injured Alex Foster for the game against Hull KR on Saturday at The Hive (ko 3pm).
Rising star Joe Keyes (18) is enjoying his time in the first team having made the step up from the Academy to the First Utility Super League but admits he found it tough to adjust to the pace of the game.