|Formerly known as||New South Wales Rugby Football League|
The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) is the governing body of rugby league in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory and is a member of the Australian Rugby League Commission. It was formed in Sydney on 8 August 1907and was known as the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) until 1984. From 1908 to 1994, the NSWRL ran Sydney's, then New South Wales', and eventually Australia's top-level rugby league club competition from their headquarters (or "Bunker" as it was nicknamed during the Super League war) on Phillip Street, Sydney. The organisation is responsible for administering the New South Wales rugby league team.
Rugby league has the highest spectator numbers of the various codes of football in New South Wales. It began in Australia in 1907, when the New South Wales Rugby League was formed as a professional competition, following the rules of the Northern Rugby Football Union in England. Since then the state has been one of the major centres of the code; the headquarters of the Australian Rugby League are in New South Wales' largest city, Sydney. The premier state-level league is the New South Wales Cup, involving reserve teams from NSW and Canberra based NRL clubs as well as the first teams from other clubs.
The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and enclaved within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.
The Australian Rugby League Commission is the official governing body of rugby league football within Australia. It was founded, as the Australian Rugby League 'Board of Control', in 1924, jointly by the New South Wales Rugby League and the Queensland Rugby League. Since 1924, all other state and territory Rugby League governing bodies have become affiliated to the League.
The following clubs are the member clubs of the NSWRL.
|Club||First season in|
|Manly Sea Eagles||1947|
|North Sydney Bears||1908|
|St. George Dragons||1921|
|South Sydney Rabbitohs||1908|
|Western Suburbs Magpies||1908|
The New South Wales Rugby Football League was responsible for the introduction of rugby league into New South Wales in 1907. Since that time the NSWRFL has built a rich tradition at all levels of the game. Great names and great games illuminate the League's growth since 1907 up to the present day. The NSWRFL was formed in August 1907, when player discontent with the administration of the New South Wales Rugby Union, over rejection of compensation payments for injuries and lost wages, led to a breakaway movement. Key figures in the new movement were James Joseph Giltinan, legendary cricketer Victor Trumper, Alex Burdon, Peter Moir, Labor politician Henry Hoyle, George Brackenreg and Jack Feneley. The first rugby league game in New South Wales was played on 17 August 1907, in which New Zealand defeated New South Wales Rugby League team 12–8.
The New South Wales Rugby Union, or NSWRU, is the governing body for the sport of rugby union within most of the state of New South Wales in Australia. It is a member and founding union of Rugby Australia.
Victor Thomas Trumper was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found unplayable. Archie MacLaren said of him, "Compared to Victor I was a cab-horse to a Derby winner". Trumper was also a key figure in the foundation of rugby league in Australia. He was the first cricketer to score 7 and 8 centuries in Test match cricket.
Alexander "Alex" Burdon was a pioneer Australian rugby league and rugby union footballer - a dual-code rugby international.
The Sydney premiership was started on 20 April 1908. Nine teams contested the initial season. They were:
The New South Wales Rugby League premiership was the first rugby league football club competition established in Australia and contributor to today's National Rugby League. Run by the New South Wales Rugby League from 1908 until 1994, the premiership was the state's elite rugby league competition.
The Balmain Tigers are a rugby league football club based in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Balmain. They were a founding member of the New South Wales Rugby League and one of the most successful in the history of the premiership, with eleven titles. In 1999 they formed a joint venture club with the neighbouring Western Suburbs Magpies club to form the Wests Tigers for competition in the National Rugby League (NRL). They no longer field any senior teams in the lower divisions. At the time of the joint venture only South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons had won more titles than the Tigers.
Cumberland, officially known as Central Cumberland, were a rugby league team in 1908 based in the region of Cumberland Plain in western Sydney. They were one of the nine original teams in the first New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) season, albeit admitted after the first round of matches had already been played. They are the shortest lived team in the history of first-grade rugby league in Australia after disbanding late that year. Statistically, they are the club with the poorest all-time record, only lasting eight games in their inaugural and only season.
The Sydney Roosters is an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition and is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in Australian rugby league history, having won fourteen New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and National Rugby League titles, and several other competitions. Only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons have won more premierships. The club holds the record for having the most wins and the second greatest margin of victory in a match in Australian rugby league history, and has won more minor premierships than any other club. The Roosters is one of only two clubs to finish runners-up in its inaugural season. The Eastern Suburbs DRLFC is the only club to have played in each and every season at the elite level, and since the 1970s has often been dubbed the "glamour club" of the league. Coached by Trent Robinson along with captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, the Roosters play their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The NSWRFL premiership was continued on the successful basis of the first competition in 1908. In 1929 Jersey Flegg was appointed to the position of president of the NSWRFL and in 1941 he became chairman of the Australian Rugby League Board of Control. At the time of his death in 1960, aged 82, he was still serving in these roles.
Harry "Jersey" Flegg was an English-Australian rugby league identity. Both a player and administrator, he was a leading figure in the birth of the sport in Australia.
When NSWRFL president Flegg died in 1960, Bill Buckley replaced him and also became boss of the Australian Rugby League, a position he remained in from 1960 until his death in 1973. In 1973 Kevin Humphreys was appointed President of New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Chairman of Australian Rugby League (ARL). Under him State of Origin was introduced.
William George (Bill) Buckley OBE was an Australian rugby league footballer and administrator.
Kevin Emery Humphreys was an Australian rugby league footballer and administrator. He was chairman of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), from about 1973 to 1983. In 1980, he was instrumental in the establishment of the State of Origin series between teams representing New South Wales and Queensland.
The State of Origin series is the annual best-of-three rugby league football match series between two Australian state representative sides, the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons.
In 1983 Humphreys was succeeded in these positions by Ken Arthurson. Under Arthurson the clubs in the NSWRL expanded outside the borders of the state and even the country until in 1994, after administering its 87th consecutive premiership season, the NSWRL was replaced by the Australian Rugby League as club football's peak administrative body.
Notwithstanding the hand over of control of the game at the elite level across Australia to the Commission, the NSWRL did retain responsibility for both the administration of the New South Wales rugby league team in State of Origin series, as well as day-to-day management of the state-based New South Wales Cup second-tier premiership, as well as junior representative competitions and divisional leagues throughout NSW and the ACT. It does so in conjunction with the NSW Country Rugby League. In a similar way, the rival Queensland Rugby League retained responsibility for that state's Origin team and lower tier competitions.
The Royal Agricultural Society Shield, or RAS Shield was the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL)'s first premiership trophy. It was presented to each year's premiership winning rugby league team; the first to win three successive titles would take permanent ownership of the shield. The Eastern Suburbs club achieved this feat winning premierships in 1911, 1912 and 1913.
The hand crafted silver and oak designed shield was donated to the NSWRL by the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales in its first year of competition.
Leading journalist Claude Corbett wrote in Sydney, Sun, newspaper on, 1 May 1914, "The Royal Agricultural Society Shield, which was presented at the inception of the League's first grade competition has been won outright by Eastern Suburbs, who upset all calculations by winning the premiership three years in succession. The club has presented the shield to their captain, Dally Messenger, 'as a token of appreciation of his captaincy."
In 1929 Jersey Flegg was appointed to the position of president of the NSWRFL.
Midway through the 1909 season, Edward Larkin was appointed full-time secretary of the NSWRFL.
In 1951, the NSWRFL originated the J.J. Giltinan Shield, following his death in 1950. This trophy was awarded to the premiers of the NSWRFL competition, being named after one of the founding fathers of the NSWRFL and rugby league in Australia. The trophy remains today, being awarded to the minor premiers of the National Rugby League competition.
Following Jersey Flegg's death in 1960, Bill Buckley was made the NSWRFL's new president.
In 1967 the NSWRFL grand final became the first football grand final of any code to be televised live in Australia. The Nine Network had paid $5,000 for the broadcasting rights.
In 1973 NSWRFL boss Kevin Humphreys negotiated rugby league's first television deal with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.The NSWRFL had commenced a very popular and successful mid-week competition in 1974, originally known as the Amco Cup, but later as the Tooth Cup and the National Panasonic Cup. The success of this competition, which included teams from both Brisbane and New Zealand, ultimately created pressure for further expansion in the NSWRFL competition.
In 1980, the NSWRFL President Kevin Humphries, who had been chairman of the League since 1973, was instrumental in the establishment of the State of Origin series between teams representing the NSWRFL and Queensland Rugby League (QRL). The immediate success of this series, which remains the premier representative competition in Australia, and the overriding success of the Queensland team further pressured the NSWRFL to expand the club competition outside the boundaries of the state.
Sydney suburban teams came and went throughout the NSWRFL's history but it was not until 1982 that the competition included expansion outside of the Sydney area. This corresponded with the adoption of commercial sponsorship of the competition for the first time, the Winfield Cup. The two new inclusions were from the Australian Capital Territory – the Canberra Raiders – as well as a team from the southern New South Wales region – the Illawarra Steelers.
The magnificent Winfield Cup trophy remains a permanent symbol of one of the game's most successful eras. Cast in bronze by Alan Ingham, it was the game's ultimate prize for the duration of the Winfield sponsorship from 1982 to 1995.
Based on John O'Gready's world famous photograph of Norm Provan (St George) and Arthur Summons (Wests) after the 1963 Grand Final, the trophy represented the premiership pinnacle for players in the Winfield Era. Its image of the big man and the little man encompasses many of the finer things about Rugby League – the mateship after battle, the satisfaction of the shared experience on the playing field – no matter how hard and tough the struggle has been, the message that Rugby League, for all its professionalism, is still a game.
The Winfield Cup captured these and many other enduring things about League in its primary image, "The Gladiators" and the famous trophy, like the JJ Giltinan Shield, remains an important part of the game's heritage.
The League's name was changed in 1984 to the New South Wales Rugby League and Ken Arthurson became the new chairman. In 1988, two Queensland teams joined the competition, with the inclusions of the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast-Tweed Giants seeing the game move beyond the outer borders of New South Wales. At the same a team from the Hunter region of New South Wales was included, with the return of a Newcastle franchise. Their return was the end of an 81-year wait in the wilderness and this time around the franchise was badged the Newcastle Knights.
In 1990 the NSWRL introduced a salary cap system to even the playing field of teams in the Winfield Cup.
The Winfield Cup competition was handed over to the control of the Australian Rugby League for the 1995 season, with the inclusion of teams from North Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand. This period of expansion created tremendous success for the competition and rugby league in general. Over 3 million fans attended competition matches in the 1995 season and this figure remained the record for a single season attendance until 2009. The 2010 NRL Season now holds the record for highest aggregate attendance, with a total of 3149927.
The Intrust Super Premiership (formerly known as NSW Cup) is the States's top tier competition and clubs run as direct feeders to NRL sides. Intrust Super have naming rights for the 2019 Season, with 12 teams competing.
On 24th August 2018, the NSWRL and CRL announced that they had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will involve formal discussions in relation to a possible merger that would see a merger of the two organisations. This would result with Rugby League in NSW governed by one body for the first time in more than 80 years.
The NSWRL manages the New South Wales State of Origin team as well the NSW Residents, Jim Beam Cup, under-19s, under-17s and under-16s and Indigenous rugby league teams. These teams traditionally play against teams from the Queensland Rugby League.
City vs Country is an annual match that takes place between a City side selected by the NSWRL and a Country side selected by New South Wales Country Rugby League. It is played before the State of Origin series and is often referred to as a selection trial for the New South Wales Blues team.
The annual State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons is the most popular sporting event in NSW. Sydney has hosted many State of Origin matches since the series began in 1980. The three game series are held in Sydney and Brisbane with the first and third games in one city and the second in the other. These rotate every year, so if two games are played in Sydney one year, then those games are played in Brisbane the next.
The NSWRL conducts a development academy from the NSW Institute of Sport facility at Narrabeen. This facility is actively involved in the conduct of competitions and carnivals involving junior league and schools based teams. The academy also conducts several camps, focusing on development as well as running the accreditation process for coaches, trainers, first aid and match officials.
Radio coverage is presented by Steele Sports who call two games of the Intrust Super Premiership each weekend. Steele Sports includes a large team from across Sydney: Alby Talarico (founder), Curtis Woodward (lead caller), Daniel Pettigrew (lead caller), Jack Clifton, Keith 'The chairman' Payne, Tony Dosen, Lewis Shepperd, Luke Potter and Matt French.
Hawkesbury Radio call Penrith Panthers matches while Alive FM call selected Wentworthville games.
The Newtown Jets are an Australian rugby league football club based in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney's inner west. They currently compete in the Canterbury Cup NSW competition, having left the top grade after the 1983 NSWRFL season. The Jets' home ground is Henson Park, and their team colours are blue and white.
The Canterbury Cup NSW is a rugby league competition for clubs in New South Wales previously known as the Intrust Super Premiership, NSWNew South Wales Cup, and NSWRL Premier League. It has a history dating back to the NSWRFL's origins in 1908, starting off as a reserve grade competition. It is now the premier open age competition in the state. The New South Wales Cup, along with the Queensland Cup, acts as a feeder competition to the National Rugby League premiership.
The J.J. Giltinan Shield is an Australian rugby league trophy, awarded annually to the National Rugby League minor premiers. It was named after James J. Giltinan who was central to the founding of rugby league in Australia. Giltinan died in 1950 and the Shield was created for the following season in his honour, first introduced for the 1951 New South Wales Rugby Football League season. From 1951, the Shield was awarded to the winner of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) Grand Final, replacing the Labor Daily Cup. In addition to the Shield, premiership winning teams received the W. D. & H. O. Wills Cup from 1960–1981, the Winfield Cup from 1982–1995, and the Optus Cup in 1996. Since 1997 the J.J. Giltinan Shield has been awarded to the competition's minor premiers.
The Jersey Flegg Cup is a junior rugby league competition played in New South Wales, contested among teams made up of players aged 20 or under. The competition is administered by the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), and is named for Eastern Suburbs foundation player and prominent administrator of the game, Harry "Jersey" Flegg.
The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales Challenge Shield, or RAS Shield was the New South Wales Rugby Football League's first premiership trophy. It was presented to each year's premiership winning rugby league team, and was won by South Sydney, Newtown and Eastern Suburbs. The first club to win three successive titles would take permanent ownership of the shield. The Eastern Suburbs club achieved this feat winning premierships in 1911, 1912 and 1913.
Kenneth Richard "Arko" Arthurson AM is an Australian rugby league football identity. Affectionately known as "The Godfather of Manly", he played, coached and was later an administrator at the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles club in the New South Wales Rugby League premiership. Later he ran the NSWRL, and then the Australian Rugby League during the 1990s' Super League war, resigning in 1997 as part of the peace process for creating the unified National Rugby League.
The 1995 ARL premiership was the 88th season of professional rugby league football in Australia, and the first to be run by the Australian Rugby League following the hand-over of the Premiership's administration by the New South Wales Rugby League. For the first time since the 1988 NSWRL season, the Premiership expanded again, and for the first time ever outside the borders of New South Wales and Queensland, with the addition of four new clubs from North Queensland, Western Australia, South Queensland and Auckland. This saw a total of twenty teams, the largest number in the League's history, compete during the regular season for the J J Giltinan Shield, which was followed by a series of play-off finals between the top eight teams that culminated in a grand final for the Winfield Cup between the newly re-branded Sydney Bulldogs and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
The 1980 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 73rd season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve clubs, including six of 1908's foundation teams and another six from around Sydney competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Canterbury-Bankstown and Eastern Suburbs clubs. NSWRFL clubs also competed in the 1980 Tooth Cup and players from NSWRFL clubs were selected to represent the New South Wales team.
The 1981 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 74th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve clubs, including six of 1908's foundation teams and another six from around Sydney competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Parramatta and Newtown clubs. NSWRFL clubs also competed in the 1981 Tooth Cup and players from NSWRFL clubs were selected to represent the New South Wales team.
The 1983 NSWRFL season was the 76th season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Fourteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. During the season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1983 KB Cup.
The 1954 NSWRFL season was the forty-seventh season of the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership competition, based in Sydney. Ten rugby league football teams from across the city competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield during the season, which culminated in the first pre-mandated Grand Final, which was played between South Sydney and Newtown.
The 1984 New South Wales Rugby League season was the 77th season of competition between the top professional rugby league football clubs within New South Wales. With the departure from the first grade competition of Sydney foundation club the Newtown Jets at the close of the previous season, 1984 saw thirteen teams compete for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Canterbury-Bankstown and Parramatta clubs. NSWRL teams also competed for the 1984 National Panasonic Cup.
The 1976 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 69th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve teams, including six of 1908's foundation clubs and another six from around Sydney, competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Manly-Warringah and Parramatta clubs. NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1976 Amco Cup.
The National Rugby League State Championship is a rugby league game contested between the winners of the New South Wales Cup and the Queensland Cup and is organised by the NRL. It was introduced for the 2014 NRL season and was played immediately before the 2014 NRL Grand Final at Stadium Australia.
The 2018 Jersey Flegg Cup season was the 48th season of the under-20 competition and the first since 2007. The competition, administered by the New South Wales Rugby League, replaced the National Rugby League's National Youth Competition, and mirrored the draw and structure of its senior counterpart, the Intrust Super Premiership.
The New South Wales Under-20's rugby league team, also known as New South Wales Under-20s or New South Wales U20, represents New South Wales in the sport of rugby league at an under-20 age level. Since 2012, the team has played an annual fixture against the Queensland Under-20s team for the Darren Lockyer Shield. The team features players selected from the National Rugby League (NRL), Holden Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup and Intrust Super Premiership competitions. They are administered by the New South Wales Rugby League.
The 2019 Canterbury Cup NSW season will be the eleventh season of the New South Wales Cup, the top rugby league competition administered by the New South Wales Rugby League. The
The 2019 Jersey Flegg Cup season was the 49th season of the under-20 competition. The competition is administered by the New South Wales Rugby League, and mirrored the draw and structure of it's senior counterpart, the Intrust Super Premiership.