Rugby league was re-introduced to Canada at an amateur level in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when a short-lived 4-team domestic competition, known as the Tri-Counties Rugby League, was established. Four teams competed in its first year, three in Canada one in the U.S., the New York-based Adirondacks club.
The Canada rugby league team first participated in international competition in 1987. Canada participated in the World Sevens (1995, 1996) and Emerging Nations World Cup (2000) competitions, and competed in regular international matches until 2000, when the Canadian Rugby League Federation folded. As a result, the national team, which was nicknamed the "Cougars", was disbanded and the sport remained dormant for 10 years.
In 2010, a new governing body, known as Canada Rugby League, was formed with the aim of redeveloping the sport amongst the resurgent international rugby league scene. The national team was re-established and briefly nicknamed the 'Mounties', Jamie Lester, the Acting President of Canada Rugby League said, "Like the Kiwis, Kangaroos and Kumuls being identifiable with the New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea rugby league teams, the Mounties nickname has been chosen to create the same effect for the Canadian team". Rugby League Review, one of the leading rugby league magazines in the world, became the main shirt sponsor of the team. The Mounties competed at the American National Rugby League's 2010 War at the Shore tournament. There, Canada played New England Immortals, a New England representative team, and the New York Knights AMNRL club team, losing both games. The team's nickname was changed to 'Wolverines' before the return of international rugby league to Canada in September 2010 with the inaugural Colonial Cup. Later that year the Wolverines competed in the Rugby League Atlantic Cup in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Canadian Wolverines played the Jamaican national team on Sunday 31 July 2011 defeating the Jamaicans to secure Canada's first international victory of the revival era. They collected their second win in September, upsetting the USA in the second game of the Colonial Cup. However, due to an earlier loss to the Tomahawks and the resulting aggregate scores, the Wolverines were unable to capture the cup. Canada's international season finished up with a defeat against South Africa, who were in the Northern Hemisphere for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.
Tri-County XIII defeated Maracaibo Oilers Sports Club (Venezuela) 24-16 at Montreal (1986) (Maracaibo Oilers Sports Club were Venezuelan Rugby Union side on tour to Canada in 1986, and included a Rugby League 13-a-side match on their tour itinerary. The Tri-County XIII was a representative team made up mainly of Canadians and some Americans from the 4-team Tri-County competition that was played at the time).
In 2000 the Canada Cougars took part in the Emerging Nations Rugby League Championship which was held in the United Kingdom. The Canadians qualified for this tournament by finishing third in Group B of the Emerging Nations qualifying tournament which was held in the United States. The Canadians put up some credible performances against group rivals the United States and Japan, but lost to both nations which earned them a third place finish. In the Emerging Nations tournament the Canadians again put up some credible performances, against the United States and another newcomer to the competition Italy, but again finished on the losing side, this earned them another third place finish and a wooden spoon play-off against Japan. The Canadians tipped to finish last in the tournament proved everyone wrong by beating Japan in the match 28-12 at Wigan.
^O'Neill, Matthew (25 April 2010). [http://www.webcitation.org /query?id=1284834693297265 "Canada's national team to be known as 'Mounties'"]. rleague.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-18.