List of defunct rugby league clubs

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This is a list of defunct professional rugby league clubs.

Australia[edit]

New South Wales Rugby League (1908-1994)[edit]

Club First year Last Year Reason
Annandale 1910 1920
Cumberland 1908 1908
Glebe Dirty Reds 1908 1929
Newcastle Rebels 1908 1909 Newcastle exist in the modern day competition, in a new form. The "original" Newcastle side disbanded in 1909 to form the Newcastle competition, and the "modern" Newcastle Knights were formed in 1988.
Newtown Jets 1908 1983 Newtown Jets still exist at New South Wales Cup level. Excluded for financial reasons.
University 1920 1937

ARL (1995-1997), SL (1997) and NRL (1998-)[edit]

Club First Year Last Year Reason
Adelaide Rams 1997 1998 Shutdown as part of the ARL and Super League merger to end the Super League war.
Balmain Tigers 1908 1999 Merged with the Western Suburbs Magpies to become the Wests Tigers in 2000.
Gold Coast Chargers 1988 1998 Shutdown as part of the ARL and Super League merger to end the Super League war.
Hunter Mariners 1997 1997 Shutdown as part of the ARL and Super League merger to end the Super League war.
Illawarra Steelers 1982 1998 Merged with the St. George Dragons to become the St George Illawarra Dragons in 1999.
North Sydney Bears 1908 1999 Merged with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles to become the Northern Eagles in 2000.
Northern Eagles 2000 2002 Reverted to Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles for the 2003 NRL Season.
St. George Dragons 1921 1998 Merged with the Illawarra Steelers to become the St George Illawarra Dragons in 1999.
South Queensland Crushers 1995 1997 Shutdown as part of the ARL and Super League merger to end the Super League war.
Western Reds 1995 1997 Shutdown as part of the ARL and Super League merger to end the Super League war.
Western Suburbs Magpies 1908 1999 Merged with the Balmain Tigers to become the Wests Tigers in 2000.

The teams listed above, with the exception of Adelaide, Hunter, Gold Coast, Northern Eagles and South Queensland still participate in lower level competitions, including the NSW Cup, S.G. Ball and Harold Matthews competitions.

Queensland Cup (1996-)[edit]

This section particularly includes the Queensland Rugby League sides which no longer compete in the top level of that league.

Club First year Last Year Reason
Brothers-Valleys 2002 2002
Bundaberg Grizzlies
Cairns Cyclones 1996 1996
Central Capras
Gold Coast Vikings 1982 1995
Logan Scorpions 1987 2002 Merged with Souths Magpies to form Souths Logan Magpies.
Mackay Sea Eagles[citation needed]
Past Brothers 1917 1998
Port Moresby Vipers
Sunshine Coast Falcons 1996 1996
Souths Magpies 1921 2002 Merged with the Logan Scorpions to form Souths Logan Magpies.[citation needed]
Toowoomba Clydesdales 1996 2006
Townsville Stingers[citation needed]
Wests Panthers 1915 2003

Brisbane Rugby League (1909-1997)[edit]

Club First year Last Year Reason
Fortitude Valley Diehards 1909 1995
Milton
Toombul 1996 1996
University 1922 1933

England[edit]

These clubs competed in the Northern Union and the rugby leagues from 1895. National League 3 (2002–2006), whilst not by strict definition amateur, is not recognised as a professional league.

Club Area First year Last Year Notes
Acton & Willesden London 1935 1936
Altrincham Cheshire 1901 1902
Birkenhead Wanderers Cheshire 1901 1904 Club played at Prenton Park throughout its playing years.
Blackpool Borough Lancashire 1954 1993 Became Springfield Borough (1987–88); Chorley Borough (1988); Trafford Borough (1989–92).

Moved back to Blackpool in 1992 as Blackpool Gladiators (1992–93).

Blackpool Panthers Lancashire 2004 2010 Created as separate entity formed from the remains of Chorley Borough/Lancashire Lynx.
Bradford Yorkshire 1864 1907 Switched to association football and became Bradford (Park Avenue).
Bramley Yorkshire 1896 1999 Bramley were reformed as Bramley Buffaloes in 2004, joining National League 3.
Brighouse Rangers Yorkshire 1895 1906 Still survives as an amateur club.
Broughton Rangers Lancashire 1895 1946 Moved and renamed Belle Vue Rangers (1946–55); Resurrected as Manchester Rangers in 2012
Carlisle Cumbria 1981 1997 Merged with Barrow Braves to become Barrow Border Raiders, now called Barrow Raiders
Carlisle City Cumberland 1928 1928 Resigned mid-season
Castleford Yorkshire 1896 1906 Unrelated to Castleford/Castleford Tigers (founded 1926), or Castleford (RU) (founded 1870)
Chorley Lynx Lancashire 1989 1995 Formed as Chorley Borough following boardroom split with original Chorley Borough.

Dropped from the league and re-admitted as the Chorley Chieftains who after moving to Preston became Lancashire Lynx and then Chorley Lynx (back in Chorley).

In 2004 the club folded. New club formed in Blackpool as Blackpool Panthers.

Coventry Warwickshire 1910 1913
Gateshead Thunder (1999) Durham 1999 1999 Merged with Hull Sharks after 1999 season. Newcastle Thunder formed as a replacement club in 2001.
Goole Yorkshire 1901 1902
Heckmondwike Yorkshire 1896
-1899
1901
-1902
Holbeck Yorkshire 1896 1904
Hunslet Yorkshire 1895 1973 New Hunslet (now Hunslet Hawks) formed as a replacement club
Kent Invicta
/ Southend Invicta
Kent
Essex
1983 1985 Became Southend Invicta for the 1984/85 season
Lancaster Lancashire 1901 1905
Leeds Parish Church Yorkshire 1896 1901
Liverpool City Lancashire 1906 1909 The original Liverpool City - unconnected to the Liverpool City which played between 1951 and 1968.[citation needed]
Liversedge Yorkshire 1895 1902
Manningham Yorkshire 1895 1903 Switched to association football and became Bradford City AFC.
Mansfield Marksman/
Nottingham City
Nottinghamshire 1984 1993 Moved to Nottingham in 1989 and continued as an amateur club after relegation from the professional leagues in 1993.
Millom Cumberland 1899 1907 Still survives as an amateur club.
Morecambe Lancashire 1896
-1899
1901
-1907
Newcastle Northumberland 1936 1938
Normanton Yorkshire 1901 1907 Still survives as an amateur club
Pontefract Yorkshire 1903 1907
Radcliffe Lancashire 1901 1902
Runcorn Cheshire 1895 1914
Scarborough Pirates North Yorkshire 1991 1992
Sheffield Eagles (1984) South Yorkshire 1984 1999 Merged with Huddersfield Giants after the 1999 season. Replacement club Sheffield Eagles formed 2000.
South Shields Northumberland 1902 1904
Sowerby Bridge Yorkshire 1901 1902
St Helens Recs Lancashire 1918 1939 Reformed as an amateur side Pilkington Recs in 1949
Stockport Cheshire 1895 1903
Streatham & Mitcham London 1935 1936
Tyldesley Lancashire 1895 1900 Reverted back to Rugby Union (1911) after some years in lower leagues.
Wigan Highfield
/ London Highfield
/ Liverpool Stanley
/ Liverpool City
/ Huyton
/ Runcorn Highfield
/ Highfield
/ Prescot Panthers
Lancashire
London
Cheshire
Merseyside
1922 1997 Wigan Highfield moved to London in 1933 and played one season as London Highfield.

At the end of the season they moved to Liverpool, becoming Liverpool Stanley (1934-51) and Liverpool City (1951-68).

Left Liverpool and continued as Huyton (1969-85); Runcorn Highfield (1985-90); Highfield (1991-96) and Prescot Panthers (1996-97).

York Wasps Yorkshire 1895 2002 York City Knights formed as a replacement club.

France[edit]

Merged with XIII Catalan to form Union Treiziste Catalane.
Merged with AS Saint Estève to form Union Treiziste Catalane.

New Zealand[edit]

Bartercard Cup (2000-)[edit]

Lion Red Cup (1994-1996)[edit]

Wales[edit]

Welsh League (1908 - 1909)[edit]

(these teams also competed in the Northern Rugby Football Union)

Club First year Last Year International capped players Notes
Aberdare RLFC 1908 1909
Barry RLFC 1908 1908
Ebbw Vale RLFC 1907 1912
Merthyr Tydfil RLFC 1907 1911
Mid-Rhondda RLFC 1908 1909
Treherbert RLFC 1908 1910
  • David Galloway (#9) for Wales 1909 and 1910 against England (2 caps)

Welsh League (1949-55)[edit]

Club First year Last Year International capped players Notes
Aberavon RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955
Amman Valley RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955 Played at Brewery Field, with Bridgend RFC temporarily moving out.
Bridgend RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955
Cardiff RLFC[citation needed] 1951 1952
  • Milson Hunt for Wales while at Cardiff in 1951
  • Glyn Morgan for Wales while at Huddersfield, and Cardiff 1947-1949 4-caps
  • Ted Ward for Wales while at Wigan, and Cardiff 1946-1951 13-caps, and for Great Britain while at Wigan in 1946 against Australia (2 matches) and New Zealand
Also played in the

Northern Rugby Football Union

Llanelli RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955
Neath RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955
  • Roy Lambert for Wales while at Neath, Dewsbury, and Warrington 1950-1952 (7 caps)
Swansea RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955
Ystradgynlais RLFC[citation needed] 1949 1955

Northern Rugby Football Union (1895- )[edit]

Club First year Last Year International capped players Notes
Cardiff City Blue Dragons 1981 1984 Relocated and became

Bridgend Blue Dragons (1984-1985)

before disbanding.

Pontypridd[1] 1926 1927
  • Ponty Davies won caps for Wales 1926-1927 2-caps, and while at Warrington in 1928
  • Bert Green for Wales 1926-1927 2-caps
  • George Oliver for Wales (RU) for Wales (RU) while at Pontypool RFC in 1920 against England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, and for Wales (RL) while at Hull, and Pontypridd 1921-1927 (4-caps)
  • Billy Rhodes for Wales 1926
  • Les White for Wales while at Pontypridd and Hunslet 1928-1933 (7-caps) for England while at Hunslet 1933 against Australia, and for Great Britain while at Hunslet in 1932 against Australia (3 matches), and New Zealand (2 matches), and in 1933 Australia (2 matches)
South Wales 1996 - Lasted one season -

by 1996 the season had switched to summer.

Celtic Crusaders 2005 2011 Initially based in Bridgend, 2010 and 2011 were played in Wrexham as the Crusaders

References[edit]