AT the start of the 1909 season, the New South Wales Rugby League was losing the battle with the NSW Rugby Union for footballing supremacy in Sydney; yet by the end of 1910 RL was firmly established as the dominant code. This post recounts how a Wallabies v Kangaroos series played a crucial role in tipping the balance decisively in favour of the 13-a-side game.
A majority of Rugby League fans would probably identify the sport's Australian origins as 1908. Yet, 1907 is arguably an equally important date in Australian RL history. It was the year when the New South Wales Rugby League was formed, presided over its first games and began to plan the Premiership competition which was to evolve into today's NRL. This post outlines the story of those events.
MANY Rugby League (R.L.) fans will probably be at least vaguely familiar with the story of the game's origins: in 1895 at a meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield, 22 clubs broke away from the Rugby Football Union (R.F.U.) over arguments about 'broken-time' payments and formed the Northern Rugby Football Union (N.U.); similar arguments in Australia led to the formation of the New South Wales Rugby League (N.S.W.R.L.) in 1907; over the subsequent decades, changes to the laws of the game, enacted by the N.U. and the N.S.W.R.L. evolved a distinctive form of rugby football, known throughout the world from 1922 by its Australian title: Rugby League. However, possibly fewer fans will be aware of precisely why the broken-time debate could not be resolved, or why the breakaway bodies felt compelled to change the laws of the game to such an extent. In Rugby's Great Split, Tony Collins (currently, the official R.L. archivist) provides answers to these questions which should be of interest to R.L. supporters throughout the world.