Western Australian Rugby League
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
|Western Australian Rugby League|
|Formerly named||Western Australian Amateur Rugby League|
|Headquarters||nib Stadium, Pier Street, Perth|
|Key people||John Sackson  (Chief Executive)|
As of 20 April 2014
The WARL administers all forms of the game in Western Australia and runs the main Perth metropolitan competitions. This includes nine clubs in the Perth metropolitan competition, sponsored as the Harvey Norman Premiership, as well as representative teams that compete in interstate competitions.
Formed in 1948 as the Western Australian Amateur Rugby League, foundation clubs were Cottesloe, Fremantle, Perth and South Perth.
Representative rugby league football in Western Australia has history going back to the early days of the WARL. The first interstate match played by Western Australians was against the Northern Territory in 1956, with WA winning the series 2-1.
In 1969 Darwin City invited the WARL to Darwin to play a match in celebration of Darwin's 100th founding anniversary in which WA won 23-19. In 1976 WA was invited to participate in the nationwide Amco Cup, where they defeated the Northern Territory 23-18.
International touring teams in WA
The first tour game by an interstate club was in 1964 when Sydney's Manly Sea Eagles traveled to Perth. The first tour match by a club affiliated with the Queensland Rugby League was in 1986 when the Tweed Heads Seagulls played a match against a combined 'Perth City' team. Further interstate club matches occurred in 1989 with visits from Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders.
Following the demise of the Western Reds professional rugby league was lost to WA. The next match occurred in 1999 when the Western Suburbs Magpies hosted the Melbourne Storm in an NRL premiership match. Further premiership matches followed in 2005 when Cronulla Sharks hosted the New Zealand Warriors, and in July 2013 when the South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted the New Zealand Warriors at NIB Stadium
Trial matches have also been played, with South Sydney Rabbitohs hosting Canterbury Bulldogs in the 2005 pre-season.
The staging of New South Wales Rugby League premiership matches in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to a push for a Perth-based entry into the Australian Rugby League competition. In 1992 the Western Reds club was accepted into the national competition and would play its first season in 1995. The Reds would play in 1996 and in the Australian Super League in 1997 under the Perth Reds moniker.
On 12 December 2006 the Australian Rugby League board accepted a proposal to establish a Western Australian Rugby League representative side to play in the NSWRL Jim Beam Cup for seasons 2008 & 2009, known as the WA Reds and played home matches at Perth Oval. In season 2010 the decision was made to enter the WA Reds team into the SG Ball Cup Under 18 competition. The season was a tough one with the 'Reds' finishing next to bottom of the ladder winning only their opening game of the season. The 2011 season saw the young Reds side improve their credentials finishing 13/18 with 3 wins from 9 matches for the season.
On 27 June 2012 the Western Australian Rugby League announced a new identity for its NRL entry bid. The West Coast Pirates has been released as the team name, with the logo a Pirate Skull over Crossed Cutlasses.
The announcement of this new bid identity is viewed as a longer term strategy for a Western Australian-based National Rugby League but as yet seems further from implementation than when first conceived many due to the NRL officially stating that will be no further expansion until 2017 to shore up it's financially weak structure.
Pilbara Rugby League
The Pilbara Rugby League is a six club competition in the north-west of Western Australia. The clubs are:
- Karratha Broncos
- Karratha Roosters
- Karratha Storm
- Port Hedland Hawks
- South Hedland Cougars
- Wickham Wasps
The WARL, sponsored as the Smarter Than Smoking Premiership, is the premier rugby league football competition in the state. The majority of the nine clubs originate in the Perth metro area and both Fremantle and South Perth are foundation WARL clubs. Junior grades run from under 11's up to under 16's and senior competition is divided into five divisions, Men's First Grade, Reserve Grade, Under 18s and Third Grade, and Women's League Tag (Flag Belt)
|Fremantle Roosters||Fremantle||Ken Allen Field||1948|
|Goldfields Titans||Kalgoorlie-Boulder||Goldfields Oasis||2009-2012|
|Joondalup Giants||Joondalup||Admiral Reserve||1990|
|Kalamunda Bulldogs||Belmont||Pioneer Park||1949|
|North Beach Sea Eagles||North Beach||Charles Riley Reserve||1951|
|Rockingham Coastal Sharks||Rockingham||Lark Hill Sports Complex||1988|
|South Perth Lions||South Perth||George Burnett Park||1948|
|South West Warriors||Bunbury||Bunbury Runners Club||2011|
|Willagee Bears||Willagee||Webber Reserve||1962|
|Mandurah Storm**||Mandurah||**juniors only||2013|
First Grade Premiers
Notable WARL juniors competed in the NRL
South Perth Lions
- Jon Grieve (1991-1997 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles & Western Reds)
- Bryson Goodwin (2007- Cronulla Sharks, South Sydney & Canterbury)
- Bronx Goodwin (2007-12 Cronulla Sharks, St George & Canberra)
- Jon Green (2006- Cronulla Sharks, St George & Canterbury)
- Cory Paterson (2007- Newcastle, North Queensland & Wests Tigers)
North Beach Sea Eagles
- Lee Te Maari (2006-10 St George, Canterbury & Parramatta)
- Curtis Rona (2014- North Queensland Cowboys)