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The Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL) was established in 2011 with a view of expanding rugby league further into Asia. The PNRL oversees the running of the national team, in 2011 it was announced that the Philippines would be playing their first game of rugby league at the 2012 International 9's at Cabramatta, while also being involved in other organized international rugby league tournaments in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Philippines made their international rugby league debut in Bangkok on October 21, 2012 with a match against Thailand, who were also making their international debut. Aided by a host of Australian-based players, Philippines won the match 86-0 in the first Asian Cup.