Super League is the top-level professional rugby league club competition in Europe. The league has twelve teams, eleven from England and one from France, canadian and Welsh clubs that also compete in the Rugby Football League can also qualify. Commonally known in the UK as the Super League it is referred to internationally as the European Super League, the current champions are Wigan Warriors. Super League began in 1996, replacing the RFL Championship and switching from a winter to a summer season, each team plays 23 games between February and July,11 home games,11 away games and a Magic Weekend game at a neutral venue. After 23 games, teams enter a Super 8 stage, the top eight play each other once more, the top four then enter the play-off series leading to the Grand Final which determines the champions. The bottom four teams go on to play the top four Championship teams in The Qualifiers to determine who will play in Super League the following season, Leeds Rhinos are the most successful club in the Super League era, having won 7 titles. However, Wigan Warriors are the most successful overall, having won 21 British Championships. The Super League champions play the National Rugby League champions from Australasia in the World Club Challenge at the start of the season, murdoch also approached the British clubs to form Super League. A large sum of money aided the decision, and the competition got under way in 1996, part of the deal saw rugby league switch from a winter to a summer season. The 12 founding teams of Super League were, Bradford Bulls Castleford Tigers Halifax Leeds Rhinos London Broncos Oldham Roughyeds Paris Saint-Germain Sheffield Eagles St. C, however this proved so unpopular that only existing clubs were selected for the competition. London Broncos, who had come fourth in the Second Division, were fast-tracked in on commercial grounds, a new team, Paris Saint-Germain, was created to give a French dimension. Between 1998 and 2000 there was no relegation from Super League, after two years Paris were dropped from the competition. In 2006, French side Catalans Dragons from Perpignan joined the league, Super League licences were announced in May 2005 by the RFL as the new determinant of the Super League competitions participants from 2009 in place of promotion and relegation. The licences were awarded after consideration of more factors than just the performance of a club. After 2007 automatic promotion and relegation was suspended for Super League with new teams to be admitted on a basis with the term of the licence to start in 2009. The RFL stated that applying to compete in Super League would be assessed by criteria in four areas with the final evaluations and decisions being taken by the RFL board of directors. Points attained by each application are translated into licence grades A, B or C. First licensing period In June 2008, the RFL confirmed that Super League would be expanded from 12 teams to 14 in 2009, the teams announced were the 12 existing Super League teams along with National League 1 teams, Celtic Crusaders and Salford
Bradford Bulls R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, which currently plays in the Championship. They have won the Challenge Cup five times, the championship six times. Bradford play their games at Odsal Stadium. The team jersey is white with red, amber and black chevrons, in 1907, founder member of the Rugby Football League Bradford F. C. switched codes to association football, and Bradford Northern was formed by members who wished to continue rugby. Bradford Northern were renamed Bradford Bulls in 1996, at the start of Super League, Bradfords main rivalry was with Leeds, they also had rivalries with Huddersfield and Halifax. The club entered administration in 2012, and again in 2014 and 2016, despite several bids to take over the club, none of the bids were accepted by the administrators and on 3 January 2017 the club went into liquidation. Due to the administration and liquidation, the club started the 2017 season with a 12-point deduction, the original Bradford Football Club was formed in 1863 and played rugby football, subsequently joining the Rugby Football Union. Initially the club played at Horton Cricket Ground, All Saints Road but were asked to leave because of damage to the pitch and they then moved to Laisteridge Lane and later North Park Road in Manningham. A nomadic existence continued as they went on to Peel Park, then Girlington. Bradford Football Club and Bradford Cricket Club bought Park Avenue in 1879, the clubs headquarters were at the Talbot Darley Street, and later The Alexandra, Great Horton Road. The club achieved its first major success by winning the Yorkshire Cup in 1884, in 1895, along with cross-town neighbours Manningham F. C. These 22 clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union and rugby football was born. Bradford enjoyed some success in the new competition, in the 1903–04 Northern Rugby Football Union season, the team finished level on points with Salford at the top of the league and then won the resulting play-off 5–0. In 1905–06, Bradford beat Salford 5–0 to win the Challenge Cup and were runners-up in the Championship, in 1906–07, Bradford won the Yorkshire County Cup 8–5 against Hull Kingston Rovers. The creation of Bradford City led to demands for association football at Park Avenue too, the ground had already hosted some football matches including one in the 1880s between Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Olympic F. C. In 1895, a Bradford side had beaten a team from Moss Side, Manchester, following the change at Bradford City, a meeting was called of the Bradford FC members on 15 April 1907 to decide the rugby clubs future. This act, sometimes referred to as The Great Betrayal, led to Bradford FC becoming the Bradford Park Avenue Association Football Club, Bradford Northerns first home ground was the Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill, to the south of the city. They based themselves at the Greenfield Hotel, Northern moved to Birch Lane in 1908
Leeds Rhinos R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. They play their matches at Headingley Rugby Stadium. The club was simply as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season. They are also known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds. In 1895, Leeds was one of rugby clubs which broke away from the Rugby Football Union. Leeds joined the Super League in 1996 and became Leeds Rhinos in 1997, the club is owned by the same company that owns Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union team, who also play their home matches at Headingley. Leeds have won thirteen Challenge Cups, ten League championships and three World Club Challenge titles, jenkinson placed an advert in the Leeds Mercury inviting players to meet up at Woodhouse Moor a few days a week from 7 am to 8 am. That advert attracted more than 500 members, from this interest several clubs were formed, including Leeds St Johns. Leeds St Johns was formed in 1870 and was known as the Old Blue. The club played at the Militia Barracks from 1870 to 1888 before moving to Cardigan Fields, near Headingley, membership was originally confined to the church classes but was soon expanded. By 1887 St Johns had reached its first cup final, 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 place at the Green Dragon Hotel. The foundation clubs were Bramley, Holbeck, Hunslet, Kirkstall, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John’s, 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 citys leading sports club. Lot 17a became what is now Headingley Stadium, Leeds St Johns played its final season under that name in 1889–90, before becoming the football section of Leeds Cricket, Football and Athletic Co Ltd the following season. With Headingley still being completed, Leeds first game was staged at Cardigan Fields, 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 189227,654 spectators, a record in British rugby. A special general meeting was held in 1895 which voted decisively to support the breakaway Northern Union as a founder member, 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 disbanded and put all of its players at Leeds disposal and 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
Hull Football Club, commonly referred to as Hull or Hull F. C. is a professional rugby league football club established in 1865 and based in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The club plays in the Super League competition and were known as Hull Sharks from 1996–99. Hull F. C. were one of the members of the Northern Rugby Football Union which was formed in 1895 in Huddersfield. Later that year moved to the Hull Athletic Clubs ground at the Boulevard, Airlie Street. Traditionally people from the west side of Hull support Hull F. C. while Hull Kingston Rovers are supported by the east half, Old Faithful is a traditional Hull F. C. terrace song. The team shares the KCOM Stadium with association football side Hull City and their mascot is the Airlie Bird. The club was formed in 1865 by a group of ex-schoolboys from York, most notably Anthony Bradley, the founders used to meet at the Young Mens Fellowship, at St. Mary’s Church in Lowgate. The vicar at that time was the Reverend Scott and his five sons made up the nucleus of the team, the club immediately took on members who were plumbers and glaziers. Soon another team, Hull White Star, was formed and the two clubs merged, Hull Football Club was one of the first clubs in the north of England to join the Rugby Football Union. Hull F. C. then nicknamed the All Blacks, were one of the initial 22 clubs to form the Northern Union after the split from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. The club moved from East Hull to the Hull Athletic Club at the Boulevard in 1895,8,000 people turned out to witness the first clubs match in which Hull F. C. beat Liversedge. Between 1908–10, Hull F. C. lost three consecutive Challenge Cup Finals, in the first, they failed to score against Hunslet who would go on to win All Four Cups whilst in the second they failed to score against Wakefield Trinity. In the third final of 1910, they held Leeds to a 7–7 draw at Fartown, a year later the Airlie Birds won their first Challenge Cup, beating Huddersfield in the semi-final and Wakefield Trinity in the final held in Halifax. Playing alongside Billy on that day was John Jack Harrison VC, Harrison scored 52 tries in the 1914–5 season, a club record that still stands. Twelve Hull F. C. players were killed during the First World War, Australian Jim Devereux became the first player to score 100 tries for Hull. In 1920, Batten was once again key in Hull F. C. s first ever Championship Final, the early-1920s were bittersweet years for the club. In 1921, Hull F. C. lost the Yorkshire County Cup but won the county championship, in the early 1930s, Hull F. C. had a full back and goal kicker called Joe Oliver. Oliver was so dependable with the boot that the crowd at one match spontaneously started singing the Gene Autry song, Hull F. C. supporters adopted the song as their battle cry from then on
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index. It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
Sky Sports is a group of sports television channels operated by the satellite pay-TV company Sky plc. Sky Sports is the dominant subscription television sports brand in the United Kingdom, Sky Sports 1,2,3,4 and 5 are available as a premium package on top of the basic Sky package. These channels are available as premium on nearly every satellite, cable and IPTV broadcasting system in the UK. Sky Sports News HQ and Sky Sports Mix are both provided as part of basic packages, the Sky Sports network is managed by Barney Francis. At launch on 5 February 1989, Sky Television operated Eurosport as a 50/50 joint venture with the European Broadcasting Union, however, the service had encountered a legal challenge from rival sports channel Screensport, a joint venture between WH Smith Television and Americas ESPN network. Subtitled as The European Sports Network, the channel was available on the Astra satellite. Screensports contention was that the involvement of the EBU with Skys Eurosport channel had the effect of restricting and distorting competition in the sports market, the European Commission agreed, and the Eurosport joint venture ceased broadcasting in early 1991. The Sports Channel was part of the BSB channel line-up, the Sports Channel survived BSBs merger with Sky Television to become one of the five channels operated by the consolidated British Sky Broadcasting. In the BSB years, it shared the frequency with its underpromoted sister channel, The Computer Channel. The channel is seen as a presuccessor of Sky Sports, with Sky owning any archive recordings made by the channel, an example of this was a 1996 retro screening of Liverpool and Evertons 1991 FA Cup 4-4 draw between the sides. The commentary was taken from the original BSB Sports Channel alongside on-screen captions, the channel was sold as one of the major draws of the Sky system and initially aired sports such as rugby and golf in 1991, before acquiring rights to German and Italian league football in 1996. The channel was initially encrypted but broadcast free-to-view, requiring an analogue VideoCrypt decoder, since VideoCrypt decoders were only officially available within the UK, this measure was intended to prevent viewing of the service outside the UK and Ireland. However, it was following the formation of the Premier League for the 1992/93 football season, believed to have been assisted by the promise of higher TV payments, that Sky Sports became well known. By bidding £304m, BSkyB beat the BBC and ITV to acquire the live and exclusive Premier League football broadcasting rights for the United Kingdom, in doing so, they had taken live top-flight English league football from terrestrial and free-to-air television for the first time in its history. At this point, Sky Sports became a channel, available with a monthly subscription on a standalone basis. Sky Sports 1 mainly broadcasts football, Sky launched its second sport-dedicated channel, Sky Sports 2 on 19 August 1994, three years after the original channel launched on the Marcopolo satellite on BSB. As a result, Sky Sports was renamed as Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 mainly broadcasts Cricket and Rugby Union. Sky Sports Gold, a dedicated to classic sport, in a similar vein to ESPN Classic
St Helens R.F.C.
St Helens Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside currently competing in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe. Formed in 1873, St Helens are one of the 22 original members of the Northern Rugby Football Union and have been champions on 13 occasions. St Helens are also the third most successful side in the Challenge Cup with 12 wins in 21 Final appearances, St Helens are founding members of the Super League and are one of only four teams to have appeared in every season since its creation in 1996. Since 1961 the clubs colours have been white, with a red V on the jersey. St Helens play their games at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, having moved from their previous home, Knowsley Road. St Helens are one of the oldest members of the Rugby Football League, founded as St Helens Football Club on 19 November 1873 at the Fleece Hotel by William Douglas Herman, they played their first ever match on 31 January 1874 against Liverpool Royal Infirmary. They became known as St Helens Rangers up until the 1880s, the club moved from the City Ground in 1890 where they had shared with St Helens Recs when neither were members of the Northern Rugby Football Union. They defeated Manchester Rangers in the first match played at Knowsley Road, in 1895 the club were one of 22 clubs that resigned from the Rugby Football Union and established the Northern Union. The first match of the new code was an 8—3 win at home to Rochdale Hornets before 3,000 spectators and they played in a vertically striped blue and white jersey—a stark contrast to the well known broad red band which would become the kit for the club later. The club reverted to this kit for one season during the rugby league season in 1995. The Challenge Cup was launched in 1897 and it was St Helens who contested its first final with Batley, at Headingley, the Gallant Youths of Batley emerged victorious 10—3, with Dave Red Traynor scoring the lone St Helens try. Between 1897 and 1901, St Helens were not successful, even considered a mid—table side. They finished second to bottom in the 1900—01 Lancashire League season, in the 1901—02 season, however, they did finish third in the Lancashire league. In 1902–03, the combined Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues saw St Helens enter for the first time, St Helens were placed in Division 1 but finished next to bottom and suffered relegation. Promotion was gained at the 1st attempt, only for another year to see them finish once again in a relegation position. However the two Divisions became one League to save the club from a 2nd relegation, on 14 June 1913, St Helens Recs joined the Northern Union after defecting from rugby union and association football. The Recs were based individually at the City Road ground, after previously sharing with St Helens, before their move to Knowsley Road, the Recs played their first game on 6 September 1913. St Helens now had two rugby league teams