“We’ve got a Bryan Adams tribute act performing and a lot of other things happening on the day and we want to get about 1,500 people there.
“Everything for us is building up to a crescendo for the Toronto match and I think it’s ideal having them as the first match of the season.”
The Skolars have made impressive progress on and off the field in recent years, with a massive upgrade in the facilties at their New River home being combined with some much-improved results on the pitch – and McNeil is confident that they are heading in the right direction.
“I think we’re pretty much the best team in the south of the country at our level,” he added. “Out of our 17 players in our match-day squad last season we were averaging 13 to 14 London-born players which was fantastic.
“We got into the Top Eights last year, but then ran out of steam in the play-offs. I think we’re better equipped this time and are aiming for the play-offs again and I think that it is realistic to target promotion next year.”
The way things are going the ESL could look something like this in five years' time;
From Lancashire; Wigan St Helens Warrington
From Yorkshire; Leeds Bradford (hopefully) Hull Hull KR
From the south of France; Les Catalans Toulouse
From Canada Toronto
And hopefully a London team again!
Castleford, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Salford, Leigh etc want to start lobbying for the reinstatement of automatic promotion and relegation and the scrapping of the Lower 8s as it looks like especially Toulouse and Toronto are very well run and destined for the top division (time will tell for London and Bradford!)