Rugby union known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895. Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, which former pupils introduced to their university. Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first "football" team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; the first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri
New South Wales rugby league team
The New South Wales rugby league team has represented the Australian state of New South Wales in rugby league football since the sport's beginnings there in 1907. Known as the Blues due to their sky blue jerseys, the team competes in the annual State of Origin series against neighbouring team, the Queensland rugby league team; this annual event is a series of three games competing for the State of Origin shield. As of 2018, the team is captained by Boyd Cordner. Prior to 1980 when the "state-of-origin" selection criteria were introduced, the New South Wales team, in addition to playing annually against Queensland, played matches against foreign touring sides and toured overseas themselves, they have played all their home matches at Stadium Australia, New South Wales' largest stadium, since it was built in 1999. The New South Wales rugby league team pre-dates the Australian national team, playing their inaugural match against a rebel New Zealand rugby team on the 1907–08 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain under existing rugby union rules.
That inaugural "All Blues" side, the first football team assembled by the newly formed NSWRFL was: Backs: Charles Hedley · Johnno Stuntz · Ed Fry · Dally Messenger · Frank Cheadle · Albert Rosenfeld · Lou D'Alpuget Forwards: Harry Hamill · Arthur Hennessy · Bob Mable · Peter Moir · Sid Pearce · Billy Cann · Robert Graves · Herb Brackenreg Two further matches were played against New Zealand before their tour took them to the Northern Hemisphere, with Jim Devereaux featuring for the Blues. The visiting All Golds won all three games. However, on the return leg of their tour a year with the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership established, the Blues won the first two matches they played under 13-a-side rules against New Zealand. In 1908 the Queensland team, whose first taste of rugby league football was against the visiting Kiwis, traveled to Sydney for the first series of games between the two states. New South Wales won all three matches, setting a precedent for interstate dominance that would continue throughout most of the 20th century.
In 1910 New South Wales defeated the touring England team in two of their three games. After that they became the first Blues side to travel to Queensland for the annual interstate series. In 1912 the New South Wales team first toured New Zealand, they visited New Zealand in 1913. During the 1913 New Zealand rugby league tour of Australia New South Wales played four matches against the Kiwis, winning three of them; the New South Wales team lost its first game against Queensland in 1922. This year the Blues toured New Zealand. During the 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand New South Wales played one match against the successful France national rugby league team, a 14-all draw. In a 1954 tour match between Great Britain and New South Wales the referee left the field in disgust at the players' persistent fighting after 56 minutes so the match was abandoned. New South Wales' dominance over Queensland came to an end with the introduction of'state of origin' selection rules in the early 1980s.
During the Super League war, in 1997 New South Wales was represented by two teams: one made up of players from clubs that remained loyal to the Australian Rugby League, which competed in the 1997 State of Origin series. Ricky Stuart, who had coached New South Wales in 2005, was announced as the first full-time Blues coach in November 2010. Following the 2012 series, the Blues' seventh consecutive loss, Stuart resigned the role. Stuart took a role as the Parramatta Eels head coach in 2013. Although the Blues continued their losing streak during Stuart's tenure, he is credited with restoring passion and pride to the NSW jersey and closing the gap between the two states, he was replaced by NSW and Australia teammate Laurie Daley. Daley's appointment as NSW State of Origin coach was announced in August 2012 and effective from season 2013. Daley got job over candidates including Brad Fittler and Daniel Anderson. Daley coached the Blues to a series victory in 2014, their first since 2005 and over his coaching rival and long time Canberra & Australian teammate Mal Meninga.
Daley ended Meninga's and Queensland's run of eight series wins with victories in Game I and Game II of the 2014 series. In 2015, New South Wales suffered it's biggest origin loss losing 52-6 against Queensland in the decider. In 2016, New South Wales lost the series 2-1 but managed to win the third and final dead rubber game. In 2017, New South Wales were tipped to win the series as Queensland had a number of key players injured. In Game 1, New South Wales beat Queensland in convincing fashion 28-4 and in Game 2 were leading the maroons 16-6 at halftime before Queensland won the game in the final two minutes to win 18-16. In Game 3, New South Wales lost the series losing 22-6 in Brisbane. In August 2017, Daley was terminated as coach of New South Wales. In 2018, Brad Fittler was appointed as the new coach and left out established players such as Aaron Woods, Josh Jackson, Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan; the Blues went on to win the series 2-1. The primary colour of New South Wales Blues is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales.
The secondary colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colour of white. * HFC Finance sponsored the NSW Orign team for the one off exhibition game in Los Angeles in 1987 The official New South Wales rugby league team supporter group is known as "Blatchy's Blues". Before Game I of the 2008 State of Origin series, to celebrate the game's centenary that year, N
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players, its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators. In rugby league, points are scored by carrying the ball and touching it to the ground beyond the opposing team's goal line; the opposing team attempts to stop the attacking side scoring points by tackling the player carrying the ball. In addition to tries, points can be scored by kicking goals. After each try, the scoring team gains a free kick to try at goal with a conversion for further points. Kicks at goal may be awarded for penalties, field goals can be attempted at any time. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, is a popular sport in Northern England, the states of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, South Auckland in New Zealand, southwest France and Lebanon.
The Super League and the National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European and Pacific Island countries, is governed by the Rugby League International Federation; the first Rugby League World Cup was held in France in 1954. Rugby league football takes its name from the bodies that split to create a new form of rugby, distinct from that run by the Rugby Football Unions, in Britain and New Zealand between 1895 and 1908; the first of these, the Northern Rugby Football Union, was established in 1895 as a breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union. Both organisations played the game under the same rules at first, although the Northern Union began to modify rules immediately, thus creating a new faster, stronger paced form of rugby football. Similar breakaway factions split from RFU-affiliated unions in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908, renaming themselves "rugby football leagues" and introducing Northern Union rules.
In 1922, the Northern Union changed its name to the Rugby Football League and thus over time the sport itself became known as "rugby league" football. In 1895, a schism in Rugby football resulted in the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. Although many factors played a part in the split, including the success of working class northern teams, the main division was caused by the RFU decision to enforce the amateur principle of the sport, preventing "broken time payments" to players who had taken time off work to play rugby. Northern teams had more working class players who could not afford to play without this compensation, in contrast to affluent southern teams who had other sources of income to sustain the amateur principle. In 1895, a decree by the RFU banning the playing of rugby at grounds where entrance fees were charged led to twenty-two clubs meeting at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 and forming the "Northern Rugby Football Union". Within fifteen years of that first meeting in Huddersfield, more than 200 RFU clubs had left to join the rugby revolution.
In 1897, the line-out was in 1898 professionalism introduced. In 1906, the Northern Union changed its rules, reducing teams from 15 to 13 a side and replacing the ruck formed after every tackle with the play the ball. A similar schism to that which occurred in England took place in Australia. There, on 8 August 1907 the New South Wales Rugby Football League was founded at Bateman's Hotel in George Street. Rugby league went on to displace rugby union as the primary football code in New South Wales and Queensland. On 5 May 1954 over 100,000 spectators watched the 1953–54 Challenge Cup Final at Odsal Stadium, England, setting a new record for attendance at a rugby football match of either code. In 1954 the Rugby League World Cup, the first for either code of rugby, was formed at the instigation of the French. In 1966, the International Board introduced a rule that a team in possession was allowed three play-the-balls and on the fourth tackle a scrum was to be formed; this was increased to six tackles in 1972 and in 1983 the scrum was replaced by a handover.
1967 saw. The first sponsors, Joshua Tetley and John Player, entered the game for the 1971–72 Northern Rugby Football League season. Television would have an enormous impact on the sport of rugby league in the 1990s when Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation sought worldwide broadcasting rights and refused to take no for an answer; the media giant's "Super League" movement saw big changes for the traditional administrators of the game. In Europe, it resulted in a move from a winter sport to a summer one as the new Super League competition tried to expand its market. In Australasia, the Super League war resulted in long and costly legal battles and changing loyalties, causing significant damage to the code in an competitive sporting market. In 1997 two competitions were run alongside each other in Australia, after which a peace deal in the form of the National Rugby League was formed; the NRL has since become recognised as the sport's flagship competition and since that time has set record TV ratings and crowd figures.
The objective in rugby league is to score more points through tries and field goals than the opposition within the 80 minutes of play. If after two halves of play, each consisting of forty minutes, the two teams are drawing, a draw may be declar
1915 NSWRFL season
The 1915 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the eighth season of Sydney’s top-grade rugby league football club competition, Australia’s first. Eight teams from across the city contested during the season, with the Balmain club finishing on top of the ladder to claim the premiership. Though World War I had broken out across Europe and many players were unavailable, there was a general consensus amongst the public that the rugby league premiership continue. On 8 May in good weather the first matches were played between the eventual top four clubs: In front of a record crowd of 13,000 Glebe defeated defending premiers Easts at the SCG, at Wentworth Oval Balmain drew 11–all with Newtown. Midway through the season, three clubs had broken ahead of the others: Balmain and South Sydney. With South Sydney falling away in the second half of the season and Glebe became the two remaining contenders for the title, they clashed with four rounds to play. In front of 20,000 people, the two clubs played out a memorable match at the Sydney Sports Ground, where Balmain prevailed 12–2 on a cold, rainy day.
Balmain were assured their first premiership without the need for a playoff after their close last-round win over South Sydney 7–4. Balmain went through 1915 undefeated – a feat achieved by only five other teams since, they won the premiership in all three grades. Members of the Balmain first-grade premiership winning side included Bob Craig, Bill Schultz and E. Burnicle. In 1915, the NSWRFL lost its first full-time Secretary Edward Larkin when he was killed in fighting at Gallipoli on 25 April; the teams remained unchanged from the 1914 season. Annandale Balmain, formed on 23 January 1908 at Balmain Town Hall Eastern Suburbs, formed on 24 January 1908 at Paddington Town Hall Glebe, formed on 9 January 1908 Newtown, formed on 14 January 1908 North Sydney, formed on 7 February 1908 South Sydney, formed on 17 January 1908 at Redfern Town Hall Western Suburbs, formed on 4 February 1908 Rugby League Tables - Notes AFL Tables Rugby League Tables - Season 1915 AFL Tables Premiership History and Statistics RL1908 1915 - Balmain Breaks Through For First Title RL1908 Results: 1911-20 at rabbitohs.com.au
First Australian Imperial Force
The First Australian Imperial Force was the main expeditionary force of the Australian Army during World War I. It was formed on 15 August 1914, following Britain's declaration of war on Germany with a strength of one infantry division and one light horse brigade; the infantry division subsequently fought at Gallipoli between April and December 1915, being reinforced by a second division, raised, as well as three light horse brigades. After being evacuated to Egypt the AIF was expanded to five infantry divisions, which were committed to the fighting in France and Belgium along the Western Front in March 1916. A sixth infantry division was raised in 1917 in the United Kingdom, but was broken up and used as reinforcements following heavy casualties on the Western Front. Meanwhile, two mounted divisions remained in the Middle East to fight against Turkish forces in the Sinai and Palestine. An all volunteer force, by the end of the war the AIF had gained a reputation as being a well-trained and effective military force, playing a significant role in the final Allied victory.
However, this reputation came at a heavy cost with a casualty rate among the highest of any belligerent for the war. The AIF included the Australian Flying Corps, which consisted of four combat and four training squadrons that were deployed to the United Kingdom, the Western Front and the Middle East throughout the war. After the war, the AFC evolved into the Royal Australian Air Force. After the war the achievements of the AIF and its soldiers, known colloquially as "Diggers", became central to the national mythology of the "Anzac legend". Known at the time as the AIF, it is today referred to as the 1st AIF to distinguish it from the Second Australian Imperial Force raised during World War II. At the start of the war, Australia's military forces were focused upon the part-time Militia; the small number of regular personnel were artillerymen or engineers, were assigned to the task of coastal defence. Due to the provisions of the Defence Act 1903, which precluded sending conscripts overseas, upon the outbreak of war it was realised that a separate, all volunteer force would need to be raised.
The Australian government pledged to supply 20,000 men organised as one infantry division and one light horse brigade plus supporting units, for service "wherever the British desired", in keeping with pre-war Imperial defence planning. The Australian Imperial Force subsequently began forming shortly after the outbreak of war and was the brain child of Brigadier General William Throsby Bridges and his chief of staff, Major Brudenell White. Coming into being on 15 August 1914, the word'imperial' was chosen to reflect the duty of Australians to both nation and empire; the AIF was intended for service in Europe. Meanwhile, a separate 2,000-man force—known as the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force —was formed for the task of capturing German New Guinea. In addition, small military forces were maintained in Australia to defend the country from attack. Upon formation, the AIF consisted of only one infantry division, the 1st Division, the 1st Light Horse Brigade; the 1st Division was made up of the 1st Infantry Brigade under Colonel Henry MacLaurin, an Australian-born officer with previous part-time military service.
The 1st Light Horse Brigade was commanded by Colonel Harry Chauvel, an Australian regular, while the divisional artillery was commanded by Colonel Talbot Hobbs. The initial response for recruits was so good that in September 1914 the decision was made to raise the 4th Infantry Brigade and 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Brigades; the 4th Infantry Brigade was commanded by Colonel John Monash, a prominent Melbourne civil engineer and businessman. The AIF continued to grow through the war numbering five infantry divisions, two mounted divisions and a mixture of other units; as the AIF operated within the British war effort, its units were organised along the same lines as comparable British Army formations. However, there were small differences between the structures of British and Australian units in regards to the AIF infantry divisions' support units. Hastily deployed, the first contingent of the AIF was untrained and suffered from widespread equipment shortages. In early 1915 the AIF was an inexperienced force, with only a small percentage of its members having previous combat experience.
However, many officers and non-commissioned personnel had served in the pre-war permanent or part-time forces, a significant proportion of the enlisted personnel had received some basic military instruction as part of Australia's compulsory training scheme. Predominantly a fighting force based on infantry battalions and light horse regiments—the high proportion of close combat troops to support personnel was exceeded only by the New Zealand Expeditionary Force —this fact at least accounted for the high percentage of casualties it sustained; the AIF included a large number of logistics and administrative units which were capable of meeting most of the force's needs, in some circumstances provided support to nearby allied units. However, the AIF relied on the British Army for medium and heavy artillery support and other weapons systems necessary for combined arms warfare that were developed in
Queensland rugby league team
The Queensland rugby league team represents the Australian state of Queensland in rugby league football. Nicknamed the "Maroons", after the colour of their jersey, the team plays three times a year against arch-rivals New South Wales in the State of Origin series. Captained by Greg Inglis and coached by Kevin Walters, the team is administered by the Queensland Rugby League and plays all of its home matches at Brisbane's Lang Park. Since 1908, a rugby league team representing Queensland has been assembled from players based in the state to compete annually against New South Wales; the team used to play matches against other high-profile foreign and domestic touring teams, but has not played anyone other than New South Wales in several decades. From 1980 onwards, when Queensland was first allowed to select players of local origin if they were at clubs outside its borders, the team's success rate against New South Wales improved dramatically; until 1987 clubs from both the Brisbane Rugby League and the NSWRL provided players for the side.
Maroons players have been chosen from clubs in the National Rugby League since Game III 2001 when Allan Langer was selected from the Super League. As of 2018, the Maroons have won eleven out of the past thirteen series, including a record-breaking eight successive State of Origin victories between 2006 and 2013. Queensland had been playing in their maroon jerseys each year against New South Wales in their sky blue before the split in rugby football between union and league took place. Queensland's captain, Mike Dore, left the rugby union establishment to play the new Northern Union brand of football in 1907 and his decision to switch codes influenced many other Queensland union players including his brother, to join the rugby league ranks; the first Queensland rugby league team formed, like the first New South Wales and Australian teams formed, was for playing the ground-breaking 1907-08 New Zealand rugby tourists, was as follows:1. Roy Allingham, 2. Doug McLean, 3. George Watson, 4. Arthur O'Brien, 5.
William Evans, 6. William Abrahams, 7. Mick Dore 8. Jack Horan, 9. Robert Tubman, 10. William Hardcastle, 11. Vic Anderson, 12. Ernest Cartmill, 13. Jack Fihelly Still some months away from having its own competition, when Queensland first played rugby league against New South Wales in the opening match of the 1908 interstate series they lost 43 – 0; this set the precedent for much of interstate rugby league's early history in Australia. During the 1912 New Zealand rugby league tour of Australia, Queensland lost both its matches against the Kiwis in Brisbane. Again, Queensland played two matches against the Kiwis during the 1913 New Zealand rugby league tour of Australia and again the Maroons lost both. New South Wales had won every match between the two states until 1922, when the Maroons, with Cyril Connell playing at halfback, achieved their maiden victory; this commenced Queensland's only golden period before the introduction of State of Origin. In 1925 Queensland played against the full New Zealand side.
The Queensland side was invited to tour ahead of the New South Wales side because Queensland was the more dominant of the two during this period. During the 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand Queensland played one match against the successful France national rugby league team, a 19-all draw; as the twentieth century progressed, New South Wales proved to be the dominant team. Queensland did not win an interstate series against New South Wales until 1958; the powerful New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership attracted many Queenslanders south of the border, the "residential" selection policy meant that the Maroons would be disadvantaged against New South Wales teams containing many Queenslanders playing in the New South Wales club competition. In the 1970s Queensland only won four matches, it was decided that if New South Wales won the first two games of the 1980 series that there would be a "State of Origin" selection policy for the last game; this meant that selection would be based on the state a player made his senior debut in, not the state that he played in.
Queensland's first representative team won the first State of Origin match 20–10 on 8 July 1980. After Queensland lost the first two games in 1981 the third match was again a State of Origin match. Queensland won this game, all subsequent series have been played under State of Origin selection criteria. Queensland's overall record in interstate clashes between 1908 and 1981 was 54 wins, 8 draws and 159 losses in 221 games. Between 1908 and 1979 Queensland played matches against a number of touring Test teams. In the inaugural State of Origin match in 1980, Queensland surprised all in a commanding 20–10 win over New South Wales. Arthur Beetson and Chris Close were the stars for Queensland, but Kerry Boustead scored Queensland's first try; this saw the new State of Origin rules applied a fairer game, saw it again in 1981. In 1981, legendary captain Arthur Beetson was ready to play before injury ruled him out, so he became coach of the team, would remain so for the next three years, it seemed that State of Origin might still be dominated by New South Wales with the Blues ahead 15–0, but a remarkable comeback by Queensland saw them defeat New South Wales 22–15 with young captain Wally Lewis and Chris Close the stars of the comeback win.
This match gave rugby league officials the impetus to decide that 1982 should have 2 State of Origin matches and a decider if required. In 1982, for the first time all three matches of the interstate series were played using'origin' selection rules. New South Wales won their first State of Origin match in Game One, but this was not enough to stop
England national rugby league team
The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league. The team formed from the Great Britain team which represented Wales and Ireland, is run under the auspices of the Rugby Football League, it participates in the Rugby League World Cup, Four Nations and Test matches. The team dates to 1904, when they played against a mixture of Scottish players in Wigan; until the 1950s, they toured Australia and New Zealand and played both home and away matches against neighbours Wales and France, but when it was decided that Great Britain would tour the Southern Hemisphere instead of England and Wales became the only regular opponents. Their first appearance in the Rugby League World Cup was in 1975, they finished runners-up in 1975, 1995 and 2017. England competed in the European Nations Cup and in 2006, an England'A' team competed for the Federation Shield. England's main rivals were Wales and France, with the rivalries stretching back to 1908 and 1934 respectively. England's main rivals now are New Zealand.
Traditionally a predominantly white kit is worn including white socks. However the jersey features some form of red, like red stripes, crosses or chevrons; these colours are similar to other English sporting teams and are the colours used on the national flag. In 2008, a new kit was introduced featuring a red cross on the front and red strips down the sides of the jersey and socks were white too with red strips. In 2008, the Rugby Football League chose to abandon the traditional English lion on the badge in favour of a much simpler shield and cross design; the team is ranked third in the world, behind Australia and New Zealand. Wayne Bennett is the head coach, Sean O'Loughlin the captain. In 1895, twenty-one clubs split with the Rugby Football Union, citing that they wanted to play professionally, formed the Northern Rugby Football Union; the twenty-one clubs were all from Northern England and the players were working class. However it was not just English players who made the switch and Welsh players switched allegiance to the new code, wanting payments for playing.
Switching heightened in the early 20th century with more Scottish and Welsh players leaving the RFU than before. The England national rugby union team had been playing international matches since 1871, but it was not until 1904, nine years after the formation of the new code, that an international rugby league match was played. At the start of 1903 season the Northern Union thought about international matches and scheduled a match for England on New Year's Day 1904 in Oldham. On that day though, the ground was frosty and the match was cancelled and it was rescheduled for April. On 5 April 1904 England competed against a team called "Other Nationalities", who were made up of ten Welshman and two Scotsman, including George Frater, who captained the side, it was a period of experimentation for the Northern Union and each team had twelve players, not thirteen. At Central Park, Wigan the ground was muddy and in poor condition, however the match went ahead. England steamed into a 3–0 lead, from a try by Warrington's Jackie Fish.
This is despite Salford's James Lomas arriving late and causing England to start the match with eleven players. Fish missed the conversion and so the Other Nationalities were able to level the scores a little Welshman Thomas crashing over for a try; the conversion was missed and going into half-time the score was tied 3–3. In the second half Thomas went over for another try before Wigan's Harris sealed a 9–3 win for the Other Nationalities in the final minutes of the match. A total of 6,000 spectators turned up for the match, considered a poor showing despite a Broughton Rangers v Bradford cup clash being scheduled on the same day. In 1905 a match between the two sides was played at Bradford; this time England won 26–11 though they were losing 11–0 at half-time. Wigan's Jim Leytham scored four tries in a record that still stand today; the match was played with fifteen players on each side and so was the 1906 match. Played in Wigan again, the match finished a 3–3 draw; the concept was abandoned after the 1906 match.
By 1908 the game had expanded much more into Australia, New Zealand and Wales and England began playing those teams. Harold Wagstaff made his debut for England in 1908 against the touring Kangaroos team at 17 years and 228 days; the Other Nationalities side did return in 1921. An England side beat the Australasian team of the 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain 4–5 at Highbury. England played only one international between 10 May 1956 and 7 November 1968 an 18–6 victory at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds. England played at the World Cup in 1975 coached by Alex Murphy, played over several months in both hemispheres on a league basis. Great Britain would represent England in the World Cup, but the RLIF wanted to capitalise on the large amount of Welsh players in the game at the time, so England and Wales fielded separate teams. England won a 20 -- 2 victory over France in Leeds in March. In June the Lions suffered their first defeat in just their second match of the tournament, losing 12–7 against a strong Wales side in Brisbane.
A little England managed to hold on for a draw against Australia in Sydney, the final score being 10–10. And they picked up a point in Auckland, drawing 17–17 against New Zealand. At the end of October, after the domestic season had finished, England beat the Welsh 22–16 in Warrington and crossed the English Channel to thrash a French side 48–2 in Bordeaux. Bradford played host the England versus New Zealand match, in which England won comfortably 27–12. At the start of November, England sque