NRL

New NRL LogoBoasting the best attendance figures for a domestic competition of either Rugby code, the National Rugby League or NRL competition, based in Australiasia, is the premier rugby league competition in the world.

The NRL competition features 15 Australian teams and one New Zealand-based side. The NRL season runs across 26 rounds, starting in march and culminating in October with the NRL Grand Final.

The NRL year also runs in tandem with a representative season, which includes an ANZAC Test Match, a City-Country fixture, and most prominently, the three-game State Of Origin series.

The Melbourne Storm won the 2017 NRL Grand Final 34-6, and the Queensland Maroons won the 2017 State of Origin series 2-1.

Cameron Smith NRL Rugby League Melbourne Storm Grand Final 2017

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The weekend of the ANZAC Test Match, City-Country and other international fixtures currently means a week off for the 16 club teams.

The Origin series is played on Wednesday nights throughout the middle of the season, normally with a three week break in each game. During the 2017 season they will be played between Round 12 and 19.

The first season of the NRL was held in 1998, but the league can date its origins back to the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) which began in 1908.

Two clubs remain from the foundation of the NSWRL, the Sydney Roosters and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, though the modern club Wests Tigers is a merger of two foundation clubs, the Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies.

The league expanded over time and in 1982 added its first two clubs from outside the suburbs of Sydney, Canberra and Illawarra. 1988 saw another regional side, the Newcastle Knights, join the league, as well as the first two Queensland clubs, the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast-Tweed Giants.

In the 1990s the emergence of a truly national league caught the attention of international media organisation News Corporation, who formed their own ‘Super League’, admitting some of the existing clubs and poaching prominent players.

In 1997 the one and only season of the Super League ran opposite to the ARL with a total of 22 teams running across the two competitions, most of them struggling to turn a profit.

Eventually a compromise was brokered that allowed a single league to be run and this was the birth of the NRL. It ran with 20 teams in 1998 but this was reduced by merger and removal to 14 by 2000. This was later bolstered to 16 by the return of South Sydney in 2002 and the creation of the Gold Coast Titans in 2007.

The league’s popularity has rapidly grown since and its Grand Final and State of Origin representative games are now among the biggest events on Australia’s sporting calendar.

The league’s premiership trophy is known as the Provan-Summons trophy, named after Norm Provan and Arthur Summons. The Brisbane Broncos are the most successful team in the modern NRL, with three premiership wins to date (1998, 2000 and 2006).

The Clive Churchill Medal is awarded each year to the player judged the best on ground in the NRL Grand Final, while the Dally M Medal is awarded each year to the player of the year.

Johnathan Thurston Cameron Smith Queensland Maroons State of Origin NRL 2017

(AAP Image/Darren England)

Last updated: 1 October, 2017

NRL Articles

Changa dies at 76

Changa dies at 76

by , 22 Jan 2018

It took a nano-second for Bobby Fulton and Artie Beetson to answer the question of who was the greatest rugby league footballer they played with or against?

An expansionist ideal: Part 2 – The NSW and Queensland Cup

An expansionist ideal: Part 2 – The NSW and Queensland Cup

by , 22 Jan 2018

In Part 1 of this article, I analysed possible expansion of the NRL to include a team from the following: Brisbane, Perth, the Central Coast, and either Wellington or Papua New Guinea.

An expansionist ideal: Part 1 – NRL

An expansionist ideal: Part 1 – NRL

by , 21 Jan 2018

In 2012, the National Rugby League decided that no expansion would take place until after the 2022 season.

What will the sporting landscape look like in Sydney in 2050?

What will the sporting landscape look like in Sydney in 2050?

by , 21 Jan 2018

What will the football sporting landscape look like in Sydney in 2050?

Perception is reality Todd, and your mob is on the nose with fans

Perception is reality Todd, and your mob is on the nose with fans

by , 19 Jan 2018

The NRL Integrity Unit’s prime duty is to investigate poor player behaviour. However, any cursory glance at social media will show you that lots of fans think the major integrity issues in the game emanate from those who are running it.

The NRL is within a ref’s whistle of the ultimate ride

The NRL is within a ref’s whistle of the ultimate ride

by , 19 Jan 2018

Waxheads with years of salty repute reckon the quest for the perfect ride never ends. It’s why they keep suiting up, just like the thirsty and desperate hypnotised by the sign, ‘Free beer tomorrow’.

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

NRL: Where Test matches are meaningless and trials on suburban ovals are essential

by , 17 Jan 2018

NRL players are far too valuable to actually travel internationally for internationals – but we’ll send them out onto suburban parks in February in front of no-one.

Is it time for a Titans rebrand?

Is it time for a Titans rebrand?

by , 16 Jan 2018

Like the vexillum of a Roman legion, the logo, colours, name and reputation of a rugby league club are intended to embody the culture and identity of the group which marches behind them.

Will there be glory for South Sydney in 2018?

Will there be glory for South Sydney in 2018?

by , 12 Jan 2018

A founding member of rugby league in Australia, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, have had more success than any other team.

Is Paul McGregor the right man to coach the Dragons?

Is Paul McGregor the right man to coach the Dragons?

by , 11 Jan 2018

After winning only four the last 12 matches in 2017, many questioned the wisdom of extending Dragons coach Paul McGregor’s contract for another two years.


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