National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is a league of professional men's rugby league teams in Australia. Run by the Australian Rugby League Commission, the NRL's main competition is known as the Telstra Premiership due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation and is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand, it attended rugby league club competition in the world. The National Rugby League is Australia's top-level domestic men's rugby-league club competition, it contains clubs from the original Sydney club Rugby League competition, running continuously since 1908. The NRL formed in the aftermath of the 1990s' Super League war as a joint partnership between the Australian governing body, the Australian Rugby League and media giant News Corporation-controlled Super League, after both organisations ran premierships parallel to each other in 1997; this partnership was dissolved in February 2012, with control of the NRL going to the independently formed Australian Rugby League Commission.
NRL matches are played in New Zealand from March to October. The season culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final, traditionally one of Australia's most popular sporting events and one of the world's largest attended sporting championship games. In addition, the NRL premiers play in the World Club Challenge, a pre-season match against the champions of the Super League competition; the reigning premiers are the Sydney Roosters winning their fourteenth official premiership. The New South Wales Rugby League ran the major rugby league competition of New South Wales from its inception in 1908 until 1994. Following the introduction of a new format for interstate rugby league, the State of Origin series in 1980, the decade of the 1980s brought about expansion of the NSWRL premiership, with the introduction of commercial sponsorship, the Winfield Cup, the addition of non-Sydney-based teams and Illawarra in 1982. Although this move brought more interest in the competition statewide in New South Wales, it would spell the beginning of the demise of some of the traditional Sydney-based clubs as well as having a negative effect on the Brisbane Rugby League premiership.
Following the 1983 season, Sydney foundation club Newtown Jets were forced to withdraw from the competition because of financial difficulties. Further expansion of the league followed in 1988, with another three teams based outside Sydney introduced to the competition; the Brisbane and Newcastle sides proved to be successful and popular and paved the way towards a push for a national competition. This was attempted in 1995 with control of the premiership passing from the NSWRFL to the Australian Rugby League, who invited four more teams from outside NSW to participate in 1995; this competition failed, but in its demise the National Rugby League was born, incorporating the traditional Sydney clubs coercing the Sydney market to follow the newly created national competition. The prospect of a national rugby league competition in addition to the introduction of pay television in Australia attracted the attention of global media organisation, News Corporation, it followed that professional rugby league was shaken to its foundations in the mid-1990s with the advent of the Super League war.
A conflict over broadcasting rights, it became a dispute as to who controlled the sport and which traditional clubs would survive into the new national era, as News Limited formed their own Super League and admitted some former ARL clubs, poaching players from the original ARL league with high salaries. With twenty-two teams of varying quality playing in two competitions that year, crowd attendances and corporate sponsorships were spread thinly, many teams found themselves in financial difficulty; the ARL undertook moves to invite the traditional clubs that had moved to the Super League competition back into a re-unified competition. Following a period of negotiation with News Corporation, on 23 September 1997 the ARL announced that it was forming a new company to conduct the competition in 1998. On 7 October News' Manaaki Ranginui announced that he was confident that there would be a single competition in 1998. On 19 December, representatives of clubs affiliated with the Australian Rugby League gathered at the Sydney Football Stadium to decide whether to accept News Limited's offer of a settlement – voting in favour by 36 votes to 4.
As a result, in the following months the National Rugby League, jointly owned by the ARL and News Limited, was formed. It was announced that the inaugural National Rugby League season of 1998 would have 20 teams competing, 19 remaining Super League and ARL teams plus the Melbourne Storm, who were created by Super League for their 1998 season. Clubs on both sides of the war were shut down. Super League decided to close the Hunter Mariners and the financially ruined Perth Reds, who were $10 million in debt at the end of 1997, while the ARL decided to close down the South Queensland Crushers, who were in severe financial trouble. Additionally, at the end of 1998 the NRL decided to close down former Super League club, the Adelaide Rams and former ARL club, the Gold Coast Chargers, despite the Gold Coast franchise being one of the few clubs to make a profit during the Super League war. One condition of the peace agreement between the ARL and News Limited was that there would be a 14 team competition in 2000.
The 20 clubs that played in 1998 would be assessed on various items such as sponsorship, crowds, on-field success and the like. It was announced that clubs that merged would
2011 Rugby League Four Nations
The 2011 Rugby League Four Nations tournament was the third staging of the Rugby League Four Nations tournament and was played in England and Wales during October and November 2011, contested by regular contestants Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Wales, who had qualified for their first Four Nations by winning the 2010 European Cup. The tournament saw the return of international rugby league to London's Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1997, with a double-header played on 5 November 2011. Australia won the tournament, defeating England in the final at Elland Road, Leeds, on 19 November 2011; the match was the last of the 17-year professional career of Australia's captain Darren Lockyer. The 2011 tournament was the third of three Four Nations series planned before the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, with the venues rotating between Europe and the South Pacific. There was no Four Nations in 2012 due to teams preparing for the World Cup. In addition to automatic inclusions Australia and New Zealand, Wales qualified for the tournament by defeating France in the final of the 2010 European Cup.
Phil Bentham Matt Cecchin Henry Perenara Paul Holland Shane Rehm James Child Ian Smith Ben Thaler Australian coach Tim Sheens' touring squad was announced on 3 October: Of the twenty four players, twenty three were Australian born while one was Fijian born. 1 Replaced selected Brett Stewart who withdrew due to injury. 2 Replaced selected David Taylor who withdrew due to injury. 3 Replaced selected Glenn Stewart who withdrew for compassionate reasons. The England squad for the 2011 Four Nations: Of the twenty four players, twenty two were English born while one was New Zealand born and one Australian born. Coach: Steve McNamara The Kiwis announced their 23-man touring squad on 4 October. Of the twenty three players, eighteen were New Zealand born while four were Australian born and one Tongan born. Coach: Stephen Kearney 1 Replaced original replacement Krisnan Inu who withdrew for family reasons, he replaced selected Steve Matai who withdrew due to injury.2 Replaced selected Manu Vatuvei who withdrew due to injury.3 Replaced selected Shaun Johnson who withdrew due to injury.
The Welsh training squad was named on 14 September. Of the twenty three players, nine were English born while eight were Welsh born and five Australian borns and one South African born. Coach: Iestyn Harris Gareth Thomas was selected in the squad, but retired with immediate effect in the week leading up to the tournament; the games were played at venues in Wales. The tournament final was played in Leeds. Johnathan Thurston broke the record for most points in a single tournament with his 56-point haul; the previous record of 42 was set in 2005 by New Zealand's Stacey Jones. Before the series, England played a Test match against France, New Zealand and Australia played a test in Newcastle before heading to Great Britain, Wales played Ireland in Neath. New Zealand were scheduled to play a Test match against the Cook Islands on 7 October, however this was called off due to the unavailability of 29 frontline players
The Leeds Rhinos are a professional rugby league club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. Founded in 1870, they compete in the Super League, the top-level rugby league club competition for an English club, have won the competition a record eight times since its inception in 1996, they play their home matches at Headingley Rugby Stadium, are the 2017 Super League champions. The club was known as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season, they are historically known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds. In 1895, Leeds was one of twenty-two rugby clubs which broke away from the Rugby Football Union and formed what is now the Rugby Football League; the club is owned by the same company that owns Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union team, who play their home matches at Headingley. Leeds have won thirteen Challenge Cups, eleven League championships and three World Club Challenge titles. In 1864, H. I. Jenkinson placed an advert in the Leeds Mercury inviting players to meet up at Woodhouse Moor a few days a week from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
That advert attracted more than 500 members. From this interest several clubs were formed, including Leeds St John's. Leeds St John's was formed in 1870 and was known as the "Old Blue and Ambers"; the club played at the Militia Barracks from 1870 to 1888 before moving to Cardigan Fields, near Headingley, Leeds. Membership was confined to the church classes but was soon expanded. By 1887 St John's had reached the Yorkshire Cup losing to Wakefield Trinity; the city of Leeds had an abundance of rugby football clubs and although members of the Yorkshire RFU, it was decided to form a ‘more local’ association. It was for this reason that the Leeds & District organisation was formalised when a meeting took place at the Green Dragon Hotel, Leeds on 27 September 1888; the foundation clubs were Bramley, Hunslet, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John’s and Wortley. In 1888 the Cardigan Estate was sold at auction and Lot 17a was purchased by a group of Leeds citizens, who intended to form the city's leading sports club.
Lot 17a became. Leeds St John's played its final season under that name in 1889–90, before becoming the football section of Leeds Cricket and Athletic Co Ltd the following season. With Headingley still being completed, Leeds' first game was staged at Cardigan Fields, the home side defeating Otley; the first game at Headingley was played on 20 September 1890, when Manningham were beaten by one try and one dropped goal to nil. In 1892, 27,654 spectators, a record in British rugby, attended the third round showdown between Leeds and Halifax at Headingley. A special general meeting was held in 1895 which voted decisively to support the breakaway Northern Union as a founder member, resulting in two resignations from the club. Leeds' début in the Northern Union was a 6–3 success at Leigh on 7 September 1895, the inaugural day of the new competition. In 1901, the Leeds Parish Church team put all of its players at Leeds' disposal; that same year saw the formation of the Northern Rugby League, with a number of leading clubs leaving the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League and joining the new competition.
Leeds was not admitted until the following year when it was placed in the newly formed second division and gained promotion as runners-up to Keighley. Leeds City FC joined soccer's Second Division in 1905–06, finished sixth out of 20 clubs in the club's first season. Rugby's monopoly with the locals seemed to have been broken, with Leeds Rugby League's average gate numbers falling by nearly 50% in that first league season. In 1910, Leeds came of age with the team finishing in sixth place in the league, but, just a warm-up for the Challenge Cup campaign. Leeds beat Hull Kingston Rovers, Rochdale Hornets and scraped through 11–10 against Warrington in the semi-final before meeting Hull F. C. in the final. Rain on the morning of the game meant; the scores were level at 7–7 with fifteen minutes left. However, neither team could break the deadlock, the final went to a replay two days again at Fartown, Huddersfield. Leeds made no mistake this time and ran out convincing 26–12 winners having led 16–0 at half-time.
The club lost many players to the First World War. The usual league programme was interrupted during 1914–18. During this period, Leeds played a number of "guest players" in the Emergency League competition; the Headingley club reached the Championship final for the first time in 1915, but lost 35–2 to Huddersfield a record score. The Emergency League was suspended. Leeds reverted to rugby union during the First World War to play a one-off challenge game against the Royal Navy Depot from Plymouth in 1917; this was a precursor to the following Christmas when two Challenge games were organised between the two sides but this time with one of each code. The Navy won the union game 9–3 on Christmas Eve but proved adept at league recording a 24–3 win on 28 December. In 1921, Harold Buck became the game's first £ 1,000 transfer. On Saturday 27 October 1934, Leeds and Wakefield Trinity met in the final of the Yorkshire Cup at Crown Flatt, Dewsbury; the match was played in front of a crowd of 22,598 and ended in a 5–5 draw.
Four days the two clubs drew again, with Leeds lifting the trophy after a second replay, the only occasion it took three attempts to settle a Yorkshire Cup Final. A total of 52,402 spectators watched the three games. Leeds forward Joe Thompson was the top point scorer for both 1927 -- 28 seasons. In 1937
Keiron Cunningham is a British professional rugby league coach and former player. A Great Britain and Wales international representative hooker, he played his entire professional career at St. Helens, making nearly 500 appearances for the club between 1994 and 2010 and winning numerous trophies, he has been cited as being among the best players in the Super League history and is regarded to be one of St Helens' greatest players of all time. The youngest of ten siblings, two of his brothers, Eddie Cunningham and Tommy Cunningham played for St Helens. Keiron Cunningham was born five months after his brother Eddie won a Rugby League Challenge Cup winner's medal for St Helens against Widnes. Following his retirement as player Cunningham remained at St Helens as an assistant coach, was head coach of the club between 2015 and April 2017. Cunningham is head of rugby at Leigh Centurions. In 1993, on his 17th birthday, Cunningham signed for his hometown club St. Helens from Wigan St Judes, he made his début in the 1994–95 Rugby Football League season, soon established himself as a world class hooker, renowned for his dynamic running from dummy-half and ability to poach tries from short distances.
He represented both Great Britain and Wales in international matches, qualifying for Wales because of a Welsh grandfather. Keiron Cunningham played hooker, scored a try in St. Helens' 16-25 defeat by Wigan in the 1995–96 Regal Trophy Final during the 1995–96 at Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield on Saturday 13 January 1996. Cunningham played for St Helens at hooker in the 1996 Challenge Cup Final, scoring a try in the second half of the match and helping his team to a 40-32 victory over the Bradford Bulls. At the end of 1996's Super League I, Cunningham was named at hooker in the 1996 Super League Dream Team. Cunningham played for St Helens at hooker in their 1999 Super League Grand Final victory over the Bradford Bulls. In 1999 he was the only British player voted into the World XIII. Cunningham played for St Helens at hooker in their 2000 Super League Grand Final victory against the Wigan Warriors; as Super League V champions, St Helens played against 2000 NRL Premiers, the Brisbane Broncos in the 2001 World Club Challenge.
Cunningham played at hooker in Saints' victory. Cunningham played for St. Helens at hooker in their 2002 Super League Grand Final victory against the Bradford Bulls. Over the course of his career, Cunningham rejected offers from the Welsh Rugby Union, England Rugby Union, from various Australian rugby league clubs, instead choosing to remain with his hometown team. In 2006 Cunningham was named as captain of St. Helens following the persistent injuries and subsequent retirement of Paul Sculthorpe. Cunningham played for St. Helens at hooker in their 2006 Challenge Cup Final victory against the Huddersfield Giants. St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull FC, Cunningham played at hooker, scoring a try in Saints' 26-4 victory; as 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers the Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Cunningham played from the interchange bench in Saints' 18-14 victory. In 2010, Cunningham announced that he would be retiring from rugby league following the culmination of 2010's Super League XV. 2010 marked the last year at St Helens' Knowsley Road ground before moving to a new stadium.
It was, in fact, Kieron Cunningham who scored the last try at the prestigious ground in his penultimate match. However, despite a memorable 2010 play-offs for Cunningham, there was to be no fairytale ending as his last game ended in defeat against arch rivals the Wigan Warriors in the 2010 Super League Grand Final, he finished his career with 496 appearances for scoring 175 tries. During his career he won five Super League Championships, seven Challenge Cup Winners Medals and two World Club Challenge Winners medals, was named in the Super League Dream Team on six occasions, in July 2007 Rugby League World magazine ranked him as the greatest player of the Super League era. Following a supporters' poll featuring the likes of Tom van Vollenhoven and Alex Murphy, Cunningham was chosen to be cast as a bronze statue outside of Langtree Park; the statue was unveiled on Chalon Way opposite the Glass House pub in March 2010 and was relocated to the stadium following its completion in October 2011. Following his retirement as a player, Cunningham took up an assistant coaching role in the strength and conditioning department at St Helens.
After the sacking of Royce Simmons in 2012 he was appointed assistant head coach of St Helens, working alongside temporary head coach Mike Rush. On Monday 20 October 2014, Cunningham was appointed as Head Coach of St. Helens, he appointed former Saints teammate Sean Long to assist him for his role. On 10 April 2017 it was announced on the BBC North West Today lunchtime bulletin that Cunningham had been sacked after 24 years associated with the club.! Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk St Helens profile Keiron's Korner Profile at saints.org.uk
Harry Sunderland Trophy
The Harry Sunderland Trophy is awarded annually to the man of the match in the Super League Grand Final. Named after Harry Sunderland, an Australian rugby league football administrator in both Australia and the United Kingdom, the Trophy was first awarded in the Rugby Football League Championship Final of the 1964–65 season following Sunderland's death. After the 1972–73 season the play-off system was dropped as the League went to two divisions; the Trophy's use was continued in the Rugby League Premiership and Super League Premiership finals until Super League III, when a play-off system was re-introduced to determine the Champions through the Grand Final. The trophy's winner is determined by the Rugby League Writers' Association and presented on the field following the conclusion of the match. In 2011, Rob Burrow of Leeds Rhinos became the first player to achieve the unanimous votes of all 37 judges when winning the award. † = denotes a player who played on the losing team in the final. Clive Churchill Medal - corresponding award for the NRL Grand Final
Hooker (rugby league)
Hooker is one of the positions in a rugby league football team. Wearing jersey number 9, the hooker is one of the team's forwards. During scrums the hooker plays in the front row, the position's name comes from their role of'hooking' or'raking' the ball back with the foot. For this reason the hooker is sometimes referred to as the rake. Hookers have a great deal of contact with the ball, as they play the role of acting halfback or dummy half, picking the ball up from the play-the-ball that follows a tackle. Hookers therefore have a lot of responsibility in that they decide what to do with the ball, whether that be to pass it, run with it, or to kick it. Therefore, together with the two half backs and fullback, hooker is one of the four key positions that make up what is sometimes called a team's'spine'. A trend of halfbacks converting into hookers followed the introduction of the 10 metre rule, many players have switched between these positions in their careers such as Geoff Toovey, Andrew Johns, Craig Gower and Peter Wallace.
The laws of rugby league state that the hooker is to be numbered 9. However, in some leagues, such as Super League, players can wear jersey numbers which do not have to conform to this system. One book published in 1996 stated that in senior rugby league, the hooker and stand-off/five-eighth handled the ball more than any other position. In the 2013 NRL season the top six players with the most tackles were all hookers. Hookers that feature in their nations' rugby league halls of fame are New Zealand's Jock Butterfield and Australia's Ken Kearney, Sandy Pearce, Cameron Smith and Noel Kelly; the most-capped British international hooker was Wales' Tommy Harris. Rugby league gameplay Rugby union positions#Hooker
Australia national rugby league team
The Australian national rugby league team have represented Australia in senior men's rugby league football competition since the establishment of the'Northern Union game' in Australia in 1908. Administered by the Australian Rugby League, the Kangaroos are ranked first in the RLIF World Rankings; the team is the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, having contested all 15 and winning 11 of them, failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954. Only four nations have beaten Australia in test matches, Australia have an overall win percentage of 67%. Dating back to 1908, Australia are the fourth oldest national side after England, New Zealand and Wales; the team was first assembled in 1908 for a tour of Great Britain. The majority of the Kangaroos' games since have been played against Great Britain and New Zealand. In the first half of the 20th century, Australia's international competition came from alternating tours to Great Britain and New Zealand, with Australia playing host to these teams in non-tour years.
Great Britain dominated in the early years, Australia did not win a Test against the Lions until 11 November 1911 under captain Chris McKivat. Australia did not win a series at home against Great Britain until 1920 or abroad until 1958. Since 1908, the team has been nicknamed the Kangaroos. Only used when touring Great Britain, France, this has been the official nickname of the team since 7 July 1994. In 1997 Australia was represented by a Super League Australia team, drawing on players from that year's Super League competition. While in the past players for the side had been selected from clubs in various leagues around the country, in recent years the side has consisted of players from clubs of the National Rugby League. Rugby football has been played in Australia since the 1860s. In 1863 Sydney University became the first rugby club to be formed in Sydney, played games amongst themselves or against the crews of visiting British ships; the Sydney Football Club and the Wallaroos followed, inter-club competition commenced.
By 1880, there were 100 clubs across the country, rugby became the dominant winter sport for Sydney. In 1888 an English team visited Australasia, playing rugby rules in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, Australian rules football in Victoria and South Australia. In 1899, an Australian team was formed for the first time using players from Queensland and New South Wales, they played a series of Tests against a British team. By 1907, Sydney club rugby games were attracting up to 20,000 people, with all profits going to the Southern Rugby Football Union, as the sport at the time was an amateur one; this caused discontent among players, in 1908 the New South Wales Rugby Football League and Queensland Rugby League were formed. An Australian national rugby league team was first formed during the first season of rugby league in Australia, the 1908 NSWRFL Premiership season; the team, made of players from the NSWRFL with a few Queensland rugby rebels added, first played against the "professional All Blacks" on the return leg of their tour of Australia and Great Britain.
That year the Australian team arranged to go on a tour of its own. The first Kangaroos arrived in England on 27 September 1908, played their first test against the Northern Union in December in London, it finished 22 all in front of a crowd of 2,000. The second test in Newcastle in January 1909 attracted a crowd of 22,000, the Northern Union won 15–5; the third test was played at Villa Park, the Northern Union winning again 6–5 before a crowd of 9,000. The Australians suggested that the series should be named'The Ashes' after the cricket series of the same name. In 1909, when the new "Northern Union" code was still in its infancy in Australia, a match between the Kangaroos and the Wallabies was played before a crowd of around 20,000, with the Rugby League side winning 29–26; the first British tour of the Southern Hemisphere began on 4 June 1910, when the Northern Union played New South Wales in front of 33,000 spectators in Sydney, losing 28–14. But they won the first test in Sydney against Australia 27–20 in front of 42,000.
They won the second test in Brisbane 22–17. In Auckland, on 30 July, they defeated New Zealand 52–20; the 1910 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the first and Australia were beaten for the Ashes in two tests, faring better as "Australasia" with two Kiwis added to their squad. The 1911–12 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain was undertaken by an'Australasian' squad which included four New Zealanders, they won the Ashes for the first time and for the next half a century no other touring team did do so on British soil. The 1914 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand was the second time the British toured down under; the Australians, captained by Sid Deane for all three tests, got one victory but lost the series in the famous decider, the "Rorke's Drift Test". Australia went on a tour of New Zealand in 1919; the 1920 Great Britain Lions tour saw. The 1921–22 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain included a New Zealander and was ostensibly an Australasian side. In January 1922, an "England" side defeated Australia 6–0 at The Willows, Salford, to win back the Ashes, lost in 1920.
They did not lose again until 1950. The Australian national team first wore green and gold in a hooped design, on Saturday 23 June 1928, when they met Great Britain in the first Test at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground. Britain led 10–2 after 25 minutes, 13–7 at half time and, after a nervous second half claimed the Test 15–12; the England team won both the 1928 series in