North West Merit League

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North West Merit League
Sport Rugby league
Instituted 2010
Number of teams 12
Country  England
Holders Ashton Bears A (2010)
Related competition Rugby League Conference

The North West Merit League is a rugby league competition for clubs in the North West of England. It is a feeder league for the Rugby League Conference.


The Midlands Merit League was founded in late 2005 to support the growth of rugby league in non-heartland areas. Originally intended as a stand-alone league, support from the Rugby Football League meant that it could be administered as part of the Rugby League Conference set-up. Interest quickly gathered with 13 teams showing an interest in participating in the inaugural season - 8 eventually participated. The first ever game took place on April 8, 2006 at All Saints Sports College, Sheffield, where the Sheffield Forgers beat the Chesterfield Spires by 58 points to 8.

The league was renamed Rugby League Merit League (RLML) for the 2008 season due to its increased geographical spread with teams from the North of England taking part. 2009 saw the largest ever entry, with over 30 teams split into two leagues; "Yorkshire and Humber" and "North West" with the Midlands Rugby League becoming its own competition using merit league rules.

In 2010 the Yorkshire & Humber Merit League and North West Merit League became separate competitions.

In 2012 the North West Merit League will become the development division of the North West Men's League.[1]

Rugby League Conference Pyramid[edit]

The North West Merit League is the lowest level on the Rugby League Conference pyramid for clubs in the North West of England.

2011 structure[edit]

The following teams participated

  • Accrington & Leyland Lions A
  • Ashton Bears
  • Bamber Bridge ARLFC
  • Blackpool Stanley ARLFC
  • Bolton Ruffians
  • Bridge Bar Bandits
  • Burnley & Pendle RLFC
  • Bury Broncos
  • Chester Gladiators A
  • East Lancashire Vikings A
  • Ellesmere Port
  • Fleetwood Sharks
  • Little Hulton Reds
  • Lymm RL
  • Mancunians RL
  • Rochdale Cobras 'A'
  • Salford City Roosters
  • Salford Central
  • Wigan Riversiders Eels

Participating teams by season[edit]

  • 2010: Accrington Panthers, Ashton Bears, Burnley & Pendle, Chester Gladiators A, Crewe & Nantwich Steamers A, East Lancashire Vikings, Ellesmere Port, Little Hulton Reds, Mancunians RL A, Wigan Riversiders B

Teams provided to the Rugby League Conference[edit]

  • 2011: East Lancashire Vikings

Past winners[edit]

Midlands Merit League Championship[edit]

2006 South Humber Rabbitohs 42-18 Nottingham Outlaws Academy
2007 St Helens Wild Boars 46-22 German Exiles

Midlands Merit League Shield[edit]

2007 East Riding RLC 32-26 Nottingham Outlaws Academy
2008 Nottingham Outlaws Academy 34-32 Sheffield Forgers

RL Merit League[edit]

2008 Moorends-Thorne Marauders ML 28-18 Wigan Riversiders
2009 North West pool Huyton Bulldogs 36-12 Wigan Eels
2009 Grand final Upton RL 52-24 Huyton Bulldogs

North West Merit League[edit]

2010 Ashton Bears A 33 - 30 East Lancashire Vikings

See also[edit]


External links[edit]