New Zealand Māori rugby league team
New Zealand Māori rugby league team is a rugby league representative side made up of New Zealand Māori players. The side represents the New Zealand Māori Rugby league. Like its union counterpart, the rugby league team competes in international competitions. With some controversy, the team participated in the 2000 World Cup as Aotearoa Māori; the Super League International Board had agreed to give a place in their World Cup to the New Zealand Māori team as they attempted to gain allies during the Super League war. Despite that World Cup not taking place, the Rugby league International Federation repeated the offer for the 2000 World Cup when it replaced the Super League International Board following the end of the dispute. A New Zealand Māori team first toured overseas in 1908; this tour was a success, was followed by another tour to Australia in 1909 and to Great Britain in 1910. The first game of international rugby league on New Zealand soil was between the Māori and the touring Great Britain Lions of 1910.
A separate body, the Māori Rugby League Board of Control, was formed in 1934 to administer the game in Māori communities. This governing body was renamed the Aotearoa Māori Rugby League and in 1992 it was registered as an incorporated society; the Māori have had a wonderful record of beating international touring teams over the years. In 1983 they visited Britain and a side containing future Kiwis stars like Hugh McGahan, Dean Bell and Clayton Friend proved too strong for the amateur opposition they played. For many years, the Māori have competed in the Pacific Cup alongside other teams with a strong presence of New Zealand-based players—Samoa and the Cook Islands, so they thought it was right they should have the opportunity to follow these teams to the World Cup; the invitation to the Māori to take part in the 2000 World Cup came about as a result of promises made to them by the defunct Super League International Board at the height of the Super League war that tore the game apart in the southern hemisphere.
The Māori team has participated in the Pacific Cup, Super League's 1997 Oceania Cup, Papua New Guinea 50th Anniversary, 2000 World Cup, World Sevens Qualification and Pacific Rim competitions. The Maori competed against Indigenous Dreamtime team on 26 October 2008 as the curtain raiser to the first match of the 2008 World Cup; the Māori team lost 34-26. In 2010, the Maori team played England at Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland before the 2010 Rugby league Four Nations in New Zealand. After trailing 18-0 at halftime, the Maori came back to draw the match at 18-all. In October 2013, the side faced the touring Murri Rugby League Team in a two-game series; the Maori side, featuring NRL players Charlie Gubb, Sam Rapira and Bodene Thompson, won the first game 48-18 at Davies Park, Huntly. The second game was played at Puketawhero Park and was won by the Maori side, 32-16. In October 2014, the team will travel to Australia to play against the Queensland Maori team at Owen Park and the Murri Rugby League Team at BMD Kougari Oval, Wynnum.
In 2018 they took part in the NRL Festival of Indigenous Rugby League held in Redfern Sydney against the First Nation Goannas, they were beat 22-16 in a thrilling finish. Primary Alternative Team Name Rohe 1. Zebastion Luisi, Tamaki Makaurau - Howick Hornets. 2. Thyme Nikau, Tamaki Makaurau - Howick Hornets 3. Hiwaroa Grant, Te Arawa - Taniwharau 4. Rusty Bristow, Tamaki Makaurau - Papakura Sea Eagles 5. Ryan Gordon, Tauranga Moana - Otumoetai Eels 6. Cruz Rauner, Taranaki - Waitara Bears 7. Cody Walker, Tamaki Makaurau - Mount Albert Lions 8. Chris Fox, Waikato Maori - Taniwharau 9. Zach Tippins, Tamaki Makaurau - Mount Albert Lions 10. Jay Pukepuke, Te Waipounamu - Halswell Hornets 11. Rulon Nutira, Te Waipounamu - Hornby Panthers 12. Arden McCarthy, Tamaki Makaurau - Pt Chevalier Pirates 13. Dylan Moses, Tamaki Makaurau - Pt Chevalier Pirates 14. Chance Tauri, Te Awa Kairangi - Te Aroha Eels 15. Tama Kaha, Te Awa Kairangi - Levin Wolves 16. Tony Tuia, Tamaki Makaurau - Howick Hornets 17. Dominic Bartells, Te Awa Kairangi - Wainuiomata Lions Coach: Darren Pirini, Tamaki Makaurau 1 Steve Waetford - Auckland Vulcan's NSW Cup Auckland 2 Thyme Nikau - Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Auckland 3 Rusty Bristow - Papakura Sea Eagles Fox Memorial Auckland 4 Zebastion Luisi - Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Auckland 5 Tee Mahe - Glenora Bears Fox Memorial Auckland 6 Cody Walker - Mount Albert Lions Fox Memorial Auckland 7 Jody Henry - Brisbane North Devils Queensland Cup Brisbane 8 Sam Rapira - NZ Warriors NRL Auckland 9 Kurt Kara - Newtown Jets NSW Cup Sydney 10 Charlie Gubb - NZ Warriors NRL Auckland 11 Bodene Thompson - West Tigers NRL Sydney/ replaced 12 Rulon Nutira - Hornby Panthers Canterbury Christchurch 13 Scott Jones - Canberra Mounties NSW Cup Canberra 14 Hamiora Mihaka - Taniwharau Waicoa Hamilton 15 Tony Tuia - Howick Hornets Fox Memorial Auckland 16 Jay Pukepuke - Halswell Hornets Canterbury Christchurch 17 Kouma Samson - NZ Warriors Holden Cup Auckland The 2019 All Stars match was the eighth annual representative exhibition All Stars match of Australian rugby league.
The match was played between the Indigenous All Stars and the Māori All Stars for the first time, the match was played in Victoria's AAMI Park. The Indigenous All Stars won 34-14 New Zealand national rugby league team New Zealand national rugby union team New Zealand Māori rugby union team New Zealand Māori cricket team 100 years of Māori rugby league 1908 - 2008 Google Books
Jonathan Ionatana Falefasa "Tana" Umaga is a New Zealand former rugby union player and former captain of the national team, the All Blacks. Since 2016 he has been coach of the Blues in the Super Rugby competition, he played for the Hurricanes from Super 12's inception in 1996 and took over the captaincy in 2003. Graham Henry named him as All Blacks captain in 2004. At the end of 2005, after 74 Test caps, Umaga retired from international rugby. Umaga played four games in 2007 for the Wellington Lions in the Air New Zealand Cup, to play 100 matches for the province, before taking up the position of coach at Toulon. During his first season coaching in 2008–09 season Toulon was a poor performer in the first half of the season and facing a relegation scare, there was speculation that he would be replaced by Philippe Saint-André. Umaga returned to a playing role for Toulon in the second half of that season, at the same time announced that he would not continue as head coach beyond that season. After helping Toulon exit relegation trouble, he retired as a player, remained at Toulon as assistant coach for backs under Saint-André.
In March 2010, Umaga again returned to the playing ranks following a serious hip injury to Christian Loamanu. Umaga returned to New Zealand after the 2009–10 French season to become a player-coach with Counties Manukau and played with the Waikato Chiefs in the 2011 Super Rugby competition. Umaga was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, he was born to Samoan immigrant parents, grew up playing rugby league. Umaga played for the Wainuiomata Lions and rose through the ranks, making the Wellington U-16 and U-17 sides, was named in the Junior Kiwi side of 1991; the side featured future National Rugby League stars Joe Vagana, Ruben Wiki and Gene Ngamu. That same year he signed with the Newcastle Knights but within three weeks was back on the plane to New Zealand because of homesickness, he never did play a First-Grade NSWRL Premiership game. In 1993 Tana's brother Mike, who played rugby union for Manu Samoa, persuaded him to take up rugby union in 1994; the brothers played on opposite teams in a Test match between Samoa and New Zealand in 1999 during which Tana scored two tries.
Umaga played wing for the Wellington Lions in 1994 and became a fixture in the starting line-up alongside his brother who played on the wing. Umaga scored more tries than any other player within the team for three successive years, in 1996 was selected for the original Hurricanes squad. In his second season playing for the Hurricanes he scored a New Zealand record of 12 tries and earned a call up to the national team at the expense of an ill Jonah Lomu, he scored a try in his debut test match. With Jonah Lomu regaining his fitness, coupled with a drop in form, Umaga was dropped from the All Blacks until the 1999 season. To accommodate outside backs Umaga, Lomu and Cullen 1996–99 All Black coach John Hart moved Fullback Christian Cullen into the midfield. With a new coach in Wayne Smith Tana Umaga became the regular wing in the All Blacks line-up. Worries about the shape of the team were swept aside when the team smashed Tonga 102–0, in a game where debutantes Troy Flavell and Doug Howlett starred.
He played in the first Bledisloe Cup match in 2000, dubbed "the game played in heaven", scoring an early try. He signed a new four-year contract with the NZRU, when Alama Ieremia took up a contract in Japan, Umaga decided to shift his focus to centre, despite scoring 9 tries in 7 tests on the wing that year. After having played just one match at centre for the Hurricanes, Umaga slotted into the midfield for the All Blacks against France, the team that beat the All Blacks in the semi-final of the World cup the previous year. Umaga had a strong game in a victory; the 2000 season was one of Umaga's best, with him being awarded the Kelvin Tremain Memorial Trophy for New Zealand rugby player of the year. While the Smith era introduced a number of new players into the New Zealand team, they could not reclaim the Tri Nations or Bledisloe Cup in 2000 or 2001; this led to his sacking and the hiring of former All Black mid-week player and successful Chiefs coach John Mitchell. Moving Umaga to the centres wasn't to everyone's liking.
Despite this Umaga was named as captain of the Wellington Lions and vice captain of the All Blacks under Anton Oliver in John Mitchell's first squad. Early on, John Mitchell and assistant coach Robbie Deans favoured Crusader Mark Robinson in the midfield; the squad to play against Italy and Ireland as well as compete in the Tri Nations did not feature Umaga. Despite news reports about him carrying a knee injury, on the day when the All Blacks were to take on Italy, Umaga played for his club Petone. Umaga, along with Taine Randell the All Blacks 1999 world cup captain, were asked to play for the New Zealand Barbarians against the New Zealand Māori. Randell himself was Māori and did not wish to play against them, Umaga was placed on the wing a position stated he didn't want to play. After the game Umaga received a call-up to the national team to play Fiji, but injured his knee mid game. Umaga told the coaches he was fit for selection for the Bledisloe match tie against Australia but was again no selected, Daryl Gibson taking the spot on the bench.
Umaga again turned out for Petone. Umaga came off the bench against South Africa at his home ground Westpac Stadium. Umaga would go on to make the Tri-Nations XV. Many co
Nigel Faletoese Vagana is a former professional rugby league footballer who played as a centre and five-eighth in the 1990s and 2000s. A New Zealand and Samoa international representative, he retired as the Kiwis' all-time top try-scorer with 19. Vagana played club football in New Zealand for the Warriors, in England for Warrington, in Australia for the Bulldogs, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Vagana represented the New Zealand national team 32 times between 1998 and 2006, including playing in the 2000 World Cup, he is the cousin of Bradford Bulls prop-forward Joe Vagana, former Silver Ferns netball player Linda Vagana. Of Samoan descent, Vagana was born in Auckland, New Zealand on 7 February 1975. Vagana played for the Auckland Colts at fullback in the grand final of the 1995 Lion Red Cup, scoring a try in his side's loss. Vagana was selected as part of the Samoa national team for the 1995 World Cup, but did not play a game. During the 1996 Auckland Warriors season Vagana made his first Premiership appearance for the club at centre.
He was selected in the New Zealand team that competed in the Super League World Nines tournament in Fiji. The side won New Zealand's first world trophy. Vagana left New Zealand to play in 1997's Super League II season for English club Warrington Wolves at five-eighth; the following year he returned to Auckland and resumed playing at centre for the Warriors in the newly formed National Rugby League alongside his cousin Joe Vagana. He was selected to make his début for the New Zealand national team in the 1998 Anzac Test against Australia from the internchange bench. Vagana finished the 1998 Auckland Warriors season as the club's top try scorer. Vagana finished the 1999 Auckland Warriors season second only to Stacey Jones in total tries scored for the club, he was selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the end of season 1999 Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he scored a try in the Kiwis' 22-20 loss, he was the tournament's top try-scorer. Vagana was selected to play for New Zealand on the wing in the 2000 Anzac Test.
He finished the 2000 Auckland Warriors season as the club's top try-scorer. Vagana was selected in the New Zealand squad for the 2000 World Cup; the Kiwis reached the final against Australia, he played on the wing in the loss to the Kangaroos. Vagana commenced playing for Sydney's Bulldogs club for the 2001 season. At the 2001 Dally M Awards Vagana was named the NRL's centre of the year. In April 2002, Vagana became the first Bulldogs player; that season he was the League's top try-scorer. At the 2002 Dally M Awards Vagana was named the NRL's centre of the year, he was selected to go on the 2002 New Zealand rugby league tour of Great Britain and France, playing at centre. Clinton Toopi broke his hand in a scuffle with Vagana during a team drinking session after the second test. Team management tried to cover up the incident, claiming the injury occurred during the match, before media found out and had a field day. Vagana played in all five test matches of the tour. During the 2003 NRL season the ladder-leading Bulldogs were stripped all competition points and given record-breaking fines for salary cap breaches, meaning they finished the season with the wooden spoon.
Vagana moved to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks for the 2004 NRL season. He was selected to play for New Zealand at fullback in the 2004 Anzac Test. Vagana finished the 2004 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks season at the club's top try-scorer. In the post-season 2004 Tri-Nations tournament Vagana was selected to play in the centres for New Zealand in all four of their matches. Vagana was selected play for New Zealand at centre in the 2005 Anzac Test. At the end of the season he was selected to go to Britain with the Kiwis for the 2005 Tri-Nations tournament, playing at five-eighth in all matches, including the final in which they defeated Australia. Vagana was selected to play for New Zealand at five-eighth in the 2006 Anzac Test, he was selected to represent New Zealand in the 2006 Tri-Nations tournament, playing at five-eighth in the final, lost to Australia. Vagana announced his retirement from international rugby league following the 2006 Tri Nations series. Vagana signed a two-year contract with NRL club South Sydney, starting in 2007, expiring at the end of 2008.
At the end of the 2007 NRL season the 2007 All Golds tour took place, celebrating the centenary of the 1907–08 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain, which saw the first games of rugby league played in the Southern hemisphere. Vagana came out of international retirement to play for an invitatinal "All Golds" side against Great Britain; the 2008 season was Vagana's last in the NRL. Although retired, Vagana was named in the Samoa squad for the post-season 2008 World Cup, captained the side in the tournament, scoring tries in both their matches. 2001 - Dally M Centre of the Year 2002 - Dally M Centre of the Year Following his retirement from the playing field, Vagana became a National Rugby League education and welfare officer. International player profile Canterbury Bulldogs profile Nigel Vagana Souths Profile Richmond Rovers profile Statistics at stats.rleague.com
New Zealand Warriors
The New Zealand Warriors are a professional rugby league football club based in Auckland, New Zealand that compete in the National Rugby League premiership and are the League's only team from outside Australia. They were formed in 1995 as the Auckland Warriors, are known as the Vodafone Warriors for sponsorship reasons; the Warriors are captained by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. They are based at Mt Smart Stadium in the Auckland suburb of Penrose. For the 1995 season the newly-formed Auckland Warriors became the first club from outside Australia to be admitted to the Australian Rugby League's premiership when it expanded from 16 to 20 teams; as a result of the Super League war in the mid-1990s, Auckland left the ARL to compete in the Super League competition of 1997, before joining the re-unified NRL the following year. They re-branded themselves the New Zealand Warriors in 2001; the club has yet to win a premiership as of 2018, but has won one minor premiership, reached two grand finals, reached the play-offs eight times, provided the majority of the New Zealand national team's players.
Rugby league was centred around Auckland since the New Zealand Rugby League was founded in 1909. Auckland produced the bulk of the international squad for many years, most of these players headed to either Australia or Great Britain to play; the Auckland representative side was providing top opposition to touring teams. An Auckland team was admitted into the mid-week ARL Amco Cup competition in 1978. In their first year they made the semi-finals, were defeated by the overall competition winners, Eastern Suburbs, they remained into the competition until the early 1980s. In 1987, an Auckland side toured Great Britain and claimed wins over powerhouse clubs Leeds and Wigan. In 1988, serious investigation into an Auckland team entering the New South Wales Rugby League premiership commenced, encouraged by the Mt Albert club. On 17 May 1992, the announcement stating an Auckland-based team's entry into the Australian Rugby League competition, the Winfield Cup in 1995, was made; this followed good turnouts to a number of NSWRL club games played in Auckland.
The new team was to be called the Auckland Warriors and run by the Auckland Rugby League organisation. The original colours selected were blue, white and green. Blue and white are recognised as the colours of Auckland, while red and green were the colours of the Warriors' original sponsor, DB Bitter; the original logo was designed by Francis Allan, of Colenso. The coach of the new team would be Wigan coach John Monie. A number of senior players were signed, such as Andy Platt. Captain Dean Bell was a high-performing signing. Former Rugby union players such as John Kirwan and Marc Ellis were brought in, in years; the Warriors' first year in the Australian Rugby League was 1995. Their debut match was against the Brisbane Broncos on 10 March 1995 in front of 30,000 people at a newly refurbished Mt Smart Stadium; the Warriors led 22–10 at one point in the second half of the match, however the Broncos defeated the new club 25–22. A home crowd attendance record of 32,174 was set at Ericsson Stadium in Round 6 of the 1995 ARL season, a record, not topped until Round 1 of the 2011 NRL season.
The Warriors were deducted two competition points for an interchange error. In a match against Western Suburbs, the Warriors used five interchange players instead of the allowed four; the Warriors won the match comfortably, 46–12. This error had disastrous consequences for the club, as they missed the finals by two competition points; the season saw the debut of future star, Stacey Jones, who scored a try on debut in a 40–4 rout of Parramatta in Sydney. The biggest issue with the season was the lack of consistency, evident with the Warriors today, despite a six match winning streak late in the season, it was observed. The Australian Rugby League season 1996 could have been regarded as a better one for the Warriors; the Warriors found themselves siding with the Super League during the Super League War when the New Zealand Rugby League signed up to the rebel competition. They claimed their first'victory' over the Broncos in round one of the competition that year, after all Super League clubs agreed to boycott the first round of the competition in protest.
The Warriors won the two points when they travelled to Brisbane with a squad of players that were unsigned to Super League, forcing the Broncos to forfeit the match. With four rounds remaining the Warriors were in sixth place in the competition headed for a finals berth, they proceeded to lose. The only positives were that young New Zealand talents Stacey Jones and Joe Vagana had superb seasons; the Warriors spent 1997 in the breakaway Super League Telstra Cup competition. Despite the reduced number of teams, they failed to make an impression on the competition. Monie was replaced by Frank Endacott as coach midway through the 1997 season; the only positive was the team's performance in the World Club Challenge. The Warriors hammered United Kingdom powerhouses Wigan and St Helens, comfortably handled Warrington; the Warriors were knocked out in the Semi Finals by eventual winners Brisbane, going down 16–22. The first season of the reformed competition was a year, it was apparent that the club needed a new approach and attitude.
For them, they were in a better position than the other two clubs that joined the competition in 1995. Former Kiwi Mark Graham took over as coach in 1999; the club was sold off to a consortium that included ex-Ki
The Melbourne Storm are a rugby league team based in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia, that participate in the National Rugby League. The first professional rugby league team based in the state, the Storm entered the competition in 1998; the Storm were a Super League initiative, created in 1997 during the Super League war, following the Super League collapse, the team became a part of the newly formed, united competition. The club play their home games at AAMI Park; the Storm have won three premierships since their inception, in 1999, 2012 and 2017, have contested several more grand finals and were stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships, following salary cap breaches. The Storm competed in the NRL's Under-20s competition from 2008 until its demise in 2017 and now in 2018 have entered the in the Hastings Deering Colts u20s QLD competition. In addition, the club has expanded into netball with a joint venture with University of the Sunshine Coast; the Sunshine Coast Lightning commenced playing in the National Netball League in 2017.
Following record attendances at State of Origin fixtures in Melbourne of 87,161 in 1994 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Australian Rugby League had planned to establish a Melbourne-based team in the Premiership by 1998. However, the disruption caused by the Super League war caused great change to the game in Australia. By May 1997, Super League boss John Ribot pushed for a Melbourne-based club for his competition, the rival of the ARL. Former Brisbane Broncos centre Chris Johns became the CEO of the club and Ribot stepped down from the head of Super League to set up the club. In September 1997, Melbourne announced that Chris Anderson would be their foundation coach, Super League announced that the new team would be named the Melbourne Storm; the Melbourne club went forward with signing players from folding Super League clubs Perth Reds and Hunter Mariners. These players included Glenn Lazarus, Brett Kimmorley and Scott Hill. With the Super League and ARL joining into one competition for the 1998 season, the Melbourne team became part of the National Rugby League.
The Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club was unveiled at a function at the Hyatt Hotel – Melbourne in February 1998. In their first game, they defeated the Illawarra Steelers, with Glenn Lazarus as their inaugural captain. Melbourne, in a complete shock to the rest of the competition, won their first four games, before losing to the Auckland Warriors, they were defeated by the eventual premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. In January 1999, CEO John Ribot negotiated a deal that saw Melbourne Storm games televised in China every weekend; the club won eight of their first eleven games of the 1999 NRL season, went on to make the finals in third position on the Premiership ladder. The team was beaten convincingly 34–10 in the quarter final by St. George Illawarra. After narrow victories against the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Parramatta Eels. Melbourne's Premiership defence began slowly losing their first four games of the 2000 NRL season, the club went on to make the finals, but were knocked out by Newcastle Knights in the quarter-finals.
Between 2001 and 2002, the club's on field performances waned, resulting in a 10th-placed finish in 2002. Cracks were starting to appear between John Ribot and Anderson throughout the period, with Anderson quitting as coach after round 7, 2001, he was replaced by Mark Murray. The Melbourne club failed to make the finals in 2001. Johns left the club as CEO at the end of 2002 and coach Murray was sacked due to Melbourne's poor form, with the club missing the finals for the second year in a row. Wayne Bennett's assistant coach at the Brisbane Broncos, Craig Bellamy was announced as the new coach of Melbourne for 2003. In addition to a new captain in Kiwi international skipper Stephen Kearney, Bellamy's strict coaching would see the Melbourne Storm get back on track from the previous lean years. Between 2003 and 2005, Melbourne made the finals, but lost games in the semi-finals that prevented them from reaching the grand final. On 17 July 2004, during round 19 of the 2004 NRL season, Danny Williams king-hit Wests Tigers' player Mark O'Neill.
Williams defended the incident, using four medical experts to argue on his behalf that he was suffering post-traumatic amnesia when the incident occurred, which he claims was the result of a high tackle by O'Neill just prior to the incident. Despite Williams' claim, he was suspended for 18 weeks by the NRL judiciary. After the decision, Williams stated that he was "obviously disappointed with the outcome", it was the longest suspension in Australian rugby league since Steve Linnane was suspended for twenty weeks for eye-gouging in 1987. In 2005, Storm coach Craig Bellamy, in his third season as an NRL coach, gained representative honours when he was selected to start coaching the Country Origin team. Season 2006 saw the retirement of captain Robbie Kearns, the emergence of talented rookie halfback Cooper Cronk, taking the reins from Matt Orford, the recruitment of hard-man Michael Crocker. Contrary to expectation, 2006 was a standout year for the Melbourne team, winning their first Minor Premiership.
Melbourne only lost four games in the season. They went on to win their two finals matches, were favourites in the 2006 NRL Grand Final, but lost 15–8 to the Brisbane Broncos, in a match where controversial refereeing decisions against Melbourne caused much media coverage. In 2007, the Storm finished the season Minor Premiers by finishing on top of th
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
Rugby league positions
A rugby league team consists of thirteen players on the field, with four substitutes on the bench. Each of the thirteen players is assigned a position with a standardised number, which reflects their role in attack and defence, although players can take up any position at any time. Players are divided into two general types and backs. Forwards are chosen for their size and strength, they are expected to run with the ball, to attack, to make tackles. Forwards are required to improve the team's field position thus creating space and time for the backs. Backs are smaller and faster, though a big, fast player can be of advantage in the backs, their roles require speed and ball-playing skills, rather than just strength, to take advantage of the field position gained by the forwards. Forwards tend to operate in the centre of the field, while backs operate nearer to the touch-lines, where more space can be found; the diagram, shows the typical positions of each player during a scrum. The laws of the game recognise standardised numbering of positions.
The starting side wear the numbers corresponding to their positions, only changing in the case of substitutions and position shifts during the game. In some competitions, such as Super League, players receive a squad number to use all season, no matter what positions they play in; the positions and the numbers are defined by the game's laws as: Backs1 Full Back 2 Right Wing Threequarter 3 Right Centre Threequarter 4 Left Centre Threequarter 5 Left Wing Threequarter 6 Stand-off Half or Five-eighth 7 Scrum Half or HalfbackForwards8 Prop 9 Hooker 10 Front Row Forward 11 Second Row Forward 12 Second Row Forward 13 Lock ForwardIn practice, the term'front row forward' is rarely used, a team has two props. The scrum half is known as the half back in Australasia, the lock forward is known as loose forward in England. There are seven backs, numbered 1 to 7. For these positions, the emphasis is on ball-handling skills; the "back-line" consists of smaller, more agile players. Numbered 1, the fullback's primary role is the last line of defence, standing behind the main line of defenders.
Defensively, fullbacks must be able to chase and tackle any player who breaks the first line of defence, must be able to catch and return kicks made by the attacking side. Their role in attack is as a support player, they are used to come into the line to create an overlap in attack. Fullbacks that feature in their respective nations' rugby league halls of fame are France's Puig Aubert, Australia's Clive Churchill and Billy Slater, Charles Fraser, Graeme Langlands and Graham Eadie, Great Britain/Wales' Jim Sullivan and New Zealand's Des White. There are four threequarters: two wingers and two centres - right wing, right centre, left centre and left wing; these players work in pairs, with one winger and one centre occupying each side of the field. Known as wingers. There are two wings in a rugby league team, numbered 2 and 5, they are positioned closest to the touch-line on each side of the field. They are among the fastest players in a team, with the speed to exploit space, created for them and finish an attacking move.
In defence their primary role is to mark their opposing wingers, they are usually required to catch and return kicks made by an attacking team dropping behind the defensive line to help the fullback. Wingers that feature in their nations' rugby league halls of fame are Great Britain's Billy Batten, Billy Boston and Clive Sullivan, Australia's Brian Bevan, John Ferguson, Ken Irvine, Harold Horder and Brian Carlson, South African Tom van Vollenhoven and France's Raymond Contrastin There are two centres and left, numbered 3 and 4 respectively, they are positioned just inside the wingers and are the second-closest players to the touch-line on each side of the field. In attack their primary role is to provide an attacking threat out wide and as such they need to be some of the fastest players on the pitch providing the pass for their winger to finish off a move. In defence, they are expected to mark their opposite centre. Centres that feature in their countries' halls of fame are France's Max Rousié, England's Eric Ashton, Harold Wagstaff and Neil Fox, Wales' Gus Risman and Australia's Reg Gasnier, H "Dally" Messenger, Dave Brown, Jim Craig, Bob Fulton and Mal Meninga.
There are two halves. Positioned more centrally in attack, beside or behind the forwards, they direct the ball and are the team's main play-makers, as such are required to be the most skillful and intelligent players on the team; these players usually perform most tactical kicking for their team. Numbered 6, the stand off or five-eighth is a strong passer and runner, while being agile; this player is referred to as "second receiver", as in attacking situations they are the second player to receive the ball and are able to initiate an attacking move. Star players of this position include Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer, Bob Fulton, Brad Fittler, Laurie Daley and Terry Lamb Numbered 7, the scrum-half or half back is involved in directing the team's play; the position is sometimes referred to as "first receiver", as half backs are the first to receive the ball from the dummy-half after a play-the-ball. This makes them important decision-makers in attack. A rugby league forward pack consists of six players who tend to be bigger and stronger than backs, rely more on their strength and size to fulfill their roles than play-making skills.
The forwards traditionally formed and contested scrums, however in the modern game