Rugby League Week
|Categories||Sport, Rugby League|
|Frequency||Weekly during NRL season|
|Company||Bauer Media Group|
Rugby League Week (frequently abbreviated to RLW) is the highest selling Australian rugby league magazine, ahead of major competitor Big League. It is published weekly (on Wednesdays) during the Australian rugby league season, which runs from March to late September (roughly corresponding to the southern hemisphere autumn and winter) and has been published continuously since 1970. In 2001 the magazine's name was changed to League Week, to avoid confusion with "that other game for lovers of forward passes, knock-ons, and penalty goals". It reverted to Rugby League Week in 2003. It is currently owned by Bauer Media Group.
The magazine contains news coverage of Australian rugby league, focused primarily on the first-grade NRL competition (previously the NSWRL) but with coverage also devoted to lower-level competitions. There are usually also several profiles of rugby league players in each edition. A number of league personalities, including Mark Geyer, Stacey Jones and Wally Lewis, have regular columns; unconfirmed rumours and miscellaneous gossip are reported in a column written by 'The Mole'.
Each edition contains previews of the games to be played in the next NRL round, running from Friday to Monday. Details of every match from the previous round are also included: the games are assessed and each player who took the field, as well as the referee, is given a rating. Details of when and by whom points were scored are also included. (Before the formation of the Brisbane Broncos, these ratings and details were also given for the Brisbane Rugby League competition.) Results, but not ratings, are published for most notable rugby league competitions in Australia, as well as major competitions in New Zealand and Great Britain.
Player of the Year
Related to the rating of players ever since Rugby League Week was first published during the 1970 NSWRFL season has been its Player of the Year award.
Since 1978, players have been rated out of ten for every game. To deal with absences from club rugby due to interstate and Test duty, the five lowest scores of every player are deleted from their final score. After these five lowest scores are removed, the player with the highest score wins the award.
From 1970 to 1977, the method of judging was the same except that players were awarded points out of five instead of ten.
In 1981 Rugby League Week named 'The Immortals', four players that they considered to be the greatest in Australian history. In 1999 another two were added and in 2003 another one. At the end of the 2012 NRL season it was decided that Andrew Johns would become the eighth immortal. Currently numbering eight, The Immortals are:
- Arthur Beetson
- Clive Churchill
- Bob Fulton
- Reg Gasnier
- Graeme Langlands
- Wally Lewis
- Johnny Raper
- Andrew Johns