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
Wigan Warriors R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The club competes in the Super League and are the current Super League Champions. formed in 1872 as Wigan Football Club, they are a founding member of the Northern Rugby Football Union following the schism from the Rugby Football Union in 1895. Wigan have won 21 League Championships,19 Challenge Cups and 4 World Club Challenge trophies, the club is the all-time most successful club in English rugby league. Wigan had a period of sustained success from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, winning the Challenge Cup eight seasons in succession, the club plays its home matches at the DW Stadium, having played at Central Park between 1902 and 1999. The current head coach is Shaun Wane, the captain is Sean OLoughlin. On 21 November 1872, Wigan Football Club was founded by members of Wigan Cricket Club following a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Wigan F. C. played on Folly Field, near Upper Dicconson Street. The first match took place on 30 November when members played against each other in a match at Folly Field. After a series of trial and practice matches, they travelled to Warrington to play their first competitive match on 18 January 1873, the game ended in a draw. Financial problems and an inability to recruit quality players led to the club amalgamating with Upholland F. C. in 1876, the club became Wigan & District F. C. The club moved and played its games at the then Wigan Cricket Club at Prescott Street just off Frog Lane. It is unlikely that the club fulfilled its fixtures in 1877 before finally disbanding at the end of the 1879 cricket season. On 22 September 1879, the club was reformed as Wigan Wasps by many ex-members of the original Wigan Football Club, the club moved away from Prescott Street back to Folly Field. In 1884, Wigan won its first trophy, the West Lancashire Cup, the club initially played in blue and white hooped jerseys before changing in 1886 to cherry and white hoops. In 1888 they hosted and beat a touring New Zealand side, Wigan were suspended by the RFU for breaking the strict amateur code despite their argument that broken-time payments were necessary to avoid undue hardship for their working class players. In 1895 Wigan joined with other clubs from Yorkshire and Lancashire to found the Northern Union which led eventually to the sport of rugby league and this was a result of the breakaway from the Rugby Football Union. This was when the Wasps tag was dropped and the club became known as Wigan. The County Championship was introduced in October 1895 with Cheshire entertaining Lancashire, the Red Rose side contained three players from Wigan, Winstanley and Unsworth and Brown. In 1896–97 due to the number of Northern Union teams the Northern League was abandoned in favour of two County Senior leagues
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
London Broncos R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Ealing, London, who compete in the Kingstone Press Championship, the second tier of professional rugby league football. They competed in the Super League from its introduction in 1996 until the end of the 2014 season, the current head coach is Andrew Henderson, assisted by England and Great Britain internationals Jamie Langley and Danny Ward. The Broncos are captained by Daniel Harrison and play at the Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing, sharing with the union side Ealing Trailfinders. The club was formed as Fulham in 1981, entering the Rugby Football League Championships second division for the 1980–81 Rugby Football League season. The club has also known as London Crusaders, London Broncos. Whilst the club has never won a trophy, they were finalists in the 1999 Challenge Cup. The only trophy the club has won since its formation in 1980 is the Rugby Football League Championship Second Division in 1982–83, professional rugby league was briefly represented in London in the 1930s by London Highfield, Acton and Willesden and Streatham and Mitcham. All were speculative clubs set up by local businessmen purely as money making exercises, thereafter, the sport of rugby league in England remained exclusively a Northern game for over forty years until the formation of new club in London, Fulham. In 1980, Fulham Football Club chairman Ernie Clay, set up a league team at Craven Cottage. The Rugby Football League, keen to encourage the expansion of the sport beyond its traditional Northern heartland, one of the games leading players, Reg Bowden, was recruited by Genders to act as player-coach and the clubs first signing was Roy Lester on a free transfer from Warrington. Within nine weeks, Genders and Bowden had assembled a team of experienced players approaching retirement, nearly 10,000 Londoners turned up for the opening game at Craven Cottage to see the newly formed side convincingly beat highly regarded Wigan 24–5. The new Fulham RL team quickly proved to be very competitive, after their initial season, immediate relegation from the first division in 1981–82 was something of a reality check. However, with the backing of supporters Roy and Barbara Close and with a new coach, former player Roy Lester, most of the players had moved on as free agents and a new team began life at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. The club moved to Chiswick Polytechnic Sports Ground in 1985 and they also played several one-off games at football grounds around London such as Wealdstone, Hendon, Brentford and Chelseas ground Stamford Bridge in 1983. Bill Goodwin replaced Lester as coach between 1986 and 1987, in August 1986, Fulham hit a cash crisis and withdrew from RFL11 days before the start of the season but re-launched in September. Bev Risman was asked to be coach at Fulham in 1987, the team was in the bottom half of the second division. The team struggled for success and Risman left after a couple of seasons, phil Sullivan was coach for just two months between January and February 1989, Goodwin came in for his third spell and held the reins until May 1989 when Ross Strudwick was appointed. The club returned to Crystal Palace in 1990, a 1991 name change to London Crusaders coincided with a slightly more successful period on the pitch
Huddersfield Giants R. L. F. C. are an English professional rugby league club from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the birthplace of rugby league, who play in the Super League competition. They have won 7 Championships and 6 Challenge Cups, but have not won a trophy since 1962. The club was known as Huddersfield Barracudas from 1984–88 and Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants for the 2000 season and they play in a distinctive strip of a claret shirt with thin gold hoops, claret shorts and claret and gold hooped socks. They have rivalries with Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls, Halifax and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. The earliest record of a match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848. Hepworth won a close game which exhibited the usual amount of confusions, bloody noses, etc. There appears to have no formal structure to sport in the Huddersfield area until the opening of the Apollo Gymnasium on 3 August 1850. In 1864 the Apollo Gymnasium was turned into the Gymnasium Theatre, the athletes of the gymnasium responded by forming a more organised athletics association. In an advertisement headed Huddersfield Athletic Club they invited gentlemen desirous of becoming members to a meeting at 8 oclock on the evening of 16 November 1864 at the Queen Hotel. The meeting went ahead, a hundred names were registered and a committee was formed, within a month a new gymnasium was in service in a basement on Back John William Street. On 27 January 1866 twenty members of the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to play a match against twenty of the Huddersfield Rifle Corps at Rifle Field in Trinity Street. Although the result was a draw, a large crowd was attracted. In light of this, the Huddersfield Athletic Club agreed to start a football section which was to start at the beginning of December 1866. Initially the Huddersfield Athletic Club made no contribution to the support of the football club, as the football club grew, it became a useful recruiting tool for the Huddersfield Athletic Club. In 1869 six matches were played and by 1870 three of the players had been selected to represent Yorkshire. By 1872 there were so many players that a team was formed. The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St Johns Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs, St Johns Cricket Club had been formed in 1866 at Hillhouse and had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground
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