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

The trouble with the Wests Tigers

The trouble with the Wests Tigers

by , 17 Dec 2017

The story or the Wests Tigers is an interesting one. The Wests Tigers are an amalgamation of two great foundation clubs who merged in the belief that survival instead of independence was their best option.

NRL confirms Gold Coast sale a done deal

NRL confirms Gold Coast sale a done deal

by , 15 Dec 2017

Former co-owner Darryl Kelly and ex-chair Rebecca Frizelle have been unveiled as the new owners of the Gold Coast Titans.

The stadiums thing? Less is more, baby. Less is more.

The stadiums thing? Less is more, baby. Less is more.

by , 15 Dec 2017

The Sydney stadiums thing? We still talking about it? We are? Okay then. Let’s talk about it.

NRL completes sale of Gold Coast Titans: Reports

NRL completes sale of Gold Coast Titans: Reports

by , 13 Dec 2017

The NRL has reportedly approved the sale of the Gold Coast Titans to former co-owner Darryl Kelly and ex-chair Rebecca Frizelle.

What Michael Maguire has to do as the new referees coach

What Michael Maguire has to do as the new referees coach

by , 13 Dec 2017

What should Michael Maguire and Donald Trump both have in common? They should each have limited terms.

The ugly contradiction in Newcastle’s fairy tale

The ugly contradiction in Newcastle’s fairy tale

by , 13 Dec 2017

Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? The heroes, the villains and everything in between make for a great read. Well, rugby league’s next fairy tale had long been anointed: the Newcastle Knights.

RLPA calls for review of NRL third-party deals

RLPA calls for review of NRL third-party deals

by , 13 Dec 2017

The Rugby League Players’ Association has reiterated a push for a review of third party agreements (TPAs) amid the Manly salary cap scandal.

My imaginary XVII: The best league players I’ve ever seen

My imaginary XVII: The best league players I’ve ever seen

by , 12 Dec 2017

In 2008, the NRL released the top 100 players to have played the game in Australia.

Manly to fight alleged cap breaches

Manly to fight alleged cap breaches

by , 12 Dec 2017

Manly have vowed to defend themselves against allegations they cheated the NRL salary cap over the last five years.

NRL: Your team’s main man in 2018

NRL: Your team’s main man in 2018

by , 12 Dec 2017

Sixteen teams will battle it out for rugby league supremacy in 2018. Here’s the 16 men that will be the most important for their club’s quest.


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