Quinn Ngawati Starts Pro League Rugby Career in London with Skolars - A Look Back to U15 Island Tide and Forward to Pro Career
The young 18 year old from Victoria is enjoying the prospects of playing professional rugby in London. He was originally signed by the Toronto Wolfpack last year but due to his age and inexperience he is being loaned out to the London Skolars who play in League 1 which is the 3rd tier of pro rugby league in the UK. The Wolfpack won League 1 last year, quite handily, and are now in the Championship league which is the 2nd tier, under Super League.
Rugby League Planet ran an article this week on Quinn and his move to London which is appended below.
We'll talk a little bit about his time in BC leading up to his pro career. He's a player who has been courted by both Union and League, the Canada U20 team no doubt would love to have him either this year or next. He was playing for Westshore in BC Premier a few weeks ago while he waited for his UK paperwork to come through. He looked like a top level centre in the match vs the Ravens who are the top team in the BC Premier and who recently defeated the Houston Sabercats of the USMLR in their trip down there - the only Canadian team to get a win in Houston so far. Last year Westshore only had a 3rd div team in the finals and Quinn helped them to win that provincial title over Burnaby as a 17 year old.
If we go back to 2013 we have a photo of Quinn (far right against post) as a Vancouver Island Tide U15 player, his team won the provincial title that year, outscoring opponents 139-0.
Tide U15 in 2013 (click on image to expand)
Felix Butterfield, Liam Bodor-Maclean, Myles Duncan, Bryce Forbes, Josh Graffi, Hunter Grant, Jonah Hall, Statten Hayhurst, Connor King, Gavin Kohut, Gavin Kratz, Sasha Lanine, Nolan Lamb, Logan Martin-Feek, Callum Masterton, Jim Newman, Quinn Ngawati, Jai Pereira, Brennig Prevost, Jonas Robinson, Brandon Schellenberger, Will Tarrant, Brayden Tate, Alex Va’a, Carter White
There are a number of players repping their clubs and country well from that team. Besides Quinn, another Westshore (Velox) player is Logan Martin-Feek doing well at UVic, also some CW players like Brandon Schellenberger playing with Canada U19 in Ireland this week, Jim Newman, Gavin Kratz (UVic) and Brennig Prevost (UVic). Hunter Grant from Westshore now attending UVic is also with the Canada U19 team in Ireland.
Quinn went to St. Michaels School (SMUS) in Victoria where he helped that school rugby program to excel. During that time he took a year of study back in NZ to attend Hamilton Boys High School and accelerate his rugby learning.
His interest in the 13 man game came through his dad, Tony, who played League in NZ. Also in the family tree is former All Black Waka Nathan, his uncle, and his cousin, current Black Ferns Sevens player Tyla Nathan Wong.
Ironically Vancouver Island is the one area where League is almost non-existant in the province. There is a BC League competition that runs for about 6 weeks after the Union season ends in May but the teams participating are all mainland teams.
We wish Quinn all the best in his career, whether playing the 15, 13, 10, 9 or 7 player version of the game if you have the basics right and have outstanding athletic ability and the right attitude you will succeed.
A final note and shout out to Shawnigan Lake School and their summer camps. In 2013 when Gary Dukelow was running the week long camp, bringing in the best coaches and national team players to mentor the young players, they would give us a couple of scholarship places to award. One of those scholarship winners was Quinn Ngawati. from Rugby League Planet
By Brian Lowe, Date: 20/3/18
Toronto Wolfpack players Quinn Ngawati and Ryan Burroughs are starting new chapters in their playing careers having been transferred to the London Skolars in the English Kingstone Press League 1 for the rest of the season.
The Wolfpack say both are part of the club’s future plans and getting regular game time will enhance their playing abilities going forward.
“This is a great opportunity for these boys,” said head coach Paul Rowley.
“The opportunity to move down a level to play some regular rugby is often a natural step in progressing many young players’ careers and it’ll be no different with these two.”
In this, the first of a two-part series, we find out from Ngawati how he feels about the move.
Ngawati, who hails from British Columbia, was the first Canadian player to be signed by Toronto during their inaugural season in 2017. He ended up playing in two games for the team.
It was a big year for him as the teenager also made his international debut for the Canada Wolverines.
For some players, moving down to a lower grade can be quite a personal challenge, but not so for Ngawati who has adopted a positive approach to it.
“I am extremely looking forward to hopefully getting the chance to play for the London Skolars,” he said.
“I have had the opportunity to spend time around the club and everyone involved, whether it be the owners, management, players, coaches or fans are passionate and welcoming.”
Ngawati is of the opinion that playing in League 1 will help develop and improve his all-round game.
“I can see all aspects of my game improving.
“Playing the sport is the best way to learn both about the game and yourself. To hopefully have the opportunity to play on a weekly basis will allow me to grow physically and skillfully.”
And as for keeping his spot on the Wolverines’ roster, Ngawati is confident the move will help him to do that.
“I hope to gain lots of experience this season at the Skolars which will help my chances of being reselected to national team duties,” he said.
The teenager says he plans to move to London so that he won’t have to deal with the commute from Manchester and he says moving there is an exciting prospect.
“London is one of the world’s most amazing cities,” Ngawati added. “I’m excited to view the city from a different point of view than the one you enjoy when you are a tourist.”
Typical of his positive attitude, he says the move to the Skolars will give him an opportunity to work on some personal goals while also contributing to the team.
“The club obviously has its goals for the future, and if I can help them achieve those it would be truly amazing.
“At the moment I just need to focus on my week-to-week preparation and performance.
“Personally, I would like to put myself in a position to play on a week-to-week basis to grow into a rugby league player fit to compete at the next level.”