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

Cooper Cronk confirms he wants to play on in 2018

Cooper Cronk confirms he wants to play on in 2018

by , 20 Oct 2017

Cooper Cronk has confirmed to his agent George Mimis that he wants to continue his NRL career in the city of Sydney in 2018, and possibly even after that.

International rugby league? Be careful what you wish for

International rugby league? Be careful what you wish for

by , 20 Oct 2017

The depth of international rugby league will again come under scrutiny in this upcoming World Cup, and you can take that however you like.

Forget the upgrades, virtual stadiums will save you

Forget the upgrades, virtual stadiums will save you

by , 20 Oct 2017

It hasn’t been a great week for the NRL, business wise at least.

The matches to watch in the 2018 NRL season

The matches to watch in the 2018 NRL season

by , 20 Oct 2017

The fixture for the 2018 NRL season has been released and as always, it is loaded with blockbusters that you cannot afford to miss.

Reflections on State of Origin Game 2, 2005

Reflections on State of Origin Game 2, 2005

by , 20 Oct 2017

With the footy season over for another year, I found myself forced to reflect on what could only be called a disappointing year for NSW.

NRL announces 2018 draw

NRL announces 2018 draw

by , 19 Oct 2017

The National Rugby League has announced an unprecedented number of double-headers and regional games for next season, as well as a standalone weekend for State of Origin II, in their full 2018 fixture reveal this morning.

Parramatta Eels 2017 season review

Parramatta Eels 2017 season review

by , 19 Oct 2017

The Eels headed into 2017 fresh off the salary cap controversy which cost the club 12 competition points and a finals berth.

Will anyone actually miss the old Footy Show?

Will anyone actually miss the old Footy Show?

by , 19 Oct 2017

The death of the Footy Show came yesterday with Channel Nine axing the show and announcing host Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin to be used sparingly in 2018 as a commentator.

NRL is Fittler’s blueprint for Origin success

NRL is Fittler’s blueprint for Origin success

by , 19 Oct 2017

NSW could soon have the arsenal for a new golden era of State of Origin, but their success must start in the NRL according to likely new coach Brad Fittler.

TELL US: What’s the most important indicator of success for a sport?

TELL US: What’s the most important indicator of success for a sport?

by , 18 Oct 2017

Ratings? Crowds? Grassroots participation? Financial stability?


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