2020 Capital Challenge Preview

2020 Capital Challenge Preview

By Alastair Hancock

  • Everything you need to know ahead of Wigan Warriors’ Capital Challenge pre-season fixture against London Skolars on Friday (2:15pm K.O.).

  • A Wigan select XIII will face the Betfred League 1 club in the annual pre-season friendly at the iconic Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in the heart of London’s financial district.

  • The game will be streamed live on Wigan TV with match commentary. Click HERE to sign up today.

Everything you need to know ahead of Wigan Warriors’ Capital Challenge pre-season fixture against London Skolars on Friday.

The Brief

Wigan Warriors will kick off their 2020 pre-season campaign on Friday with a trip to the capital to face London Skolars.

The match will mark the 16th annual Capital Challenge, and the seventh encounter between Wigan and the Skolars.

An iconic event in the rugby league calendar, the fixture is located at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) ground, right in the heart of London’s financial headquarters.

Reserves Coach Darrell Goulding will take charge of the select XIII, while Head Coach Adrian Lam and Assistant Coach John Winder will be in attendance to cast an eye on the action.

The game kicks off at 2:15pm and Wigan TV will be there to cover every second, with live streaming due to start at 1:30pm.

Wigan beat the Skolars 34-6 in the 2019 Capital Challenge.

Team News

Head Coach Adrian Lam has named a 23-man squad to face the Skolars.

Here is the squad in full: Logan Astley, James Barran, Jack Bibby, Tom Forber, Sam Halsall, Umyla Hanley, Ethan Havard, Ben Holcroft, Ben Kilner, Bailey Lam, James McDonnell, Romain Navarrete, Matty Nicholson, Kai Pearce-Paul, Max Roberts, Aiden Roden, Harry Rushton, Jake Sculthorpe, Jake Shorrocks, Joe Shorrocks, Oscar Stone, Alex Sutton, Cian Tyrer.

Did You Know?

As a tradition, the day begins with an investment conference, attended by various high-profile sponsors and partners, before a served three-course meal in the HAC’s dining hall. The guest of honour and speaker at this year’s event is former Warrior and Great Britain international, Barrie McDermott.

Once the conference and three-course meal ends, the two teams take to the six acres of green space, giving guests a unique sporting experience in a historic location.

The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) ground, which is based in the heart of the City of London has become a permanent host for the annual fixture on London’s sporting calendar, with Wigan playing in six of the 16 games, involving London Skolars.

The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC).

The Opposition

London Skolars were founded in 1995. Initially created for post-university graduates in London, the club became open to all to reflect the cosmopolitan nature of Rugby League in the English capital.

In 2002, the club applied to join the National Leagues and the following year it was accepted. London became the first club in 80 years to make the jump from the amateur ranks to the professional leagues. The first team now play in Betfred League 1 at the New River Stadium in north London.

Head Coach, Jermaine Coleman, has been in charge since 2014 and in 2016 he led the Skolars to their highest ever position in the League One Super 8s. Last season, London finished in 8th place in Betfred League 1.

Previous Meetings

Friday’s clash will be the seventh Capital Challenge between the sides, as 2014 was the first year when the Warriors took part, thumping the Skolars 0-48 as Dom Manfredi bagged four tries.

Manfredi in action against the Skolars in 2014.

Previously to 2014, London played against their City counterparts London Broncos (Harlequins RL) and Friday’s game will be 16th Capital Challenge that the Skolars have hosted.

In 2015, Wigan retained the trophy with a 10-28 win, as Jack Wells and Liam Paisley got two tries each and the Warriors gained their third successive victory over the Skolars a year later as Liam Marshall scored both tries in the 6-10 contest.

London got their first win against Wigan in 2017 after a tight 26-22 affair but the Cherry and Whites got revenge in 2018.

In the most recent fixture last year, Wigan ran away with a comfortable 34-6 victory. Joe Bullock marked his first game for the Club with a brace, while Craig Mullen, Liam Byrne, Morgan Smithies and Callum Field also got on the scoresheet, meaning the Warriors have won five times at the HAC in the past six years.

Bullock Chris Hankinson and Harry Smith in action vs the Skolars in 2019.

Coach Quotes

Ahead of the game, Reserves Coach Darrell Goulding spoke to Wigan TV…

Assistant Coach Winder also says: “It is a fantastic game, everyone at the Club looks forward to it as it is a real unique experience, and over the last seven years we have seen some really good performances in that fixture. History tells us that lads who play well go on to do well.

“I remember Anthony Gelling playing well in that game and going on to have a good year; Dom Manfredi is similar. It is a really good stepping stone.”

John Winder in pre-season training.


Tickets are limited at the HAC so make sure to get yours now and avoid any disappointment.

Tickets cost £20 and are available to buy online HERE.

How to Follow

You can follow every piece of the action on our social media channels and website.

Wigan TV

Wigan TV subscribers can watch all of the upcoming 2020 pre-season friendly fixtures live on Wigan TV.

 Starting with the trip to London this Friday, tune in to Wigan TV to see all of the action live with match commentary.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Wigan TV, click HERE today to join. Choose a monthly (£5.99), quarterly (£11.99) or annual (£38.99) subscription with no contract. Pay with PayPal or credit/debit card.

Wigan TV is the ONLY place where you can see full match replays of every first team game in 2020, with a host of Scholars, Academy, Reserves and Women’s matches also available live and replayed. Plus there’s plenty of pre and post-match interviews and behind the scenes content. ALL FOR LESS THAN £40 A YEAR.

Sign up to today by clicking HERE. All subscriptions renew automatically unless cancelled.

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