Portal:Rugby league

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Lance hohaia running into the defence (rugby league).jpg
Rugby league football, usually called simply rugby league, is a full-contact form of football, played by two teams of 13 players on a rectangular grass field over 80 minutes. The primary aim is to carry or kick the ball towards the opponent's goal line where points can be scored by grounding the ball; this is called a try. After scoring a try, the team is allowed the chance to try at goal with a conversion - a kick for further points. The opposing team will attempt to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball.

Rugby league is one of the two codes of rugby football, the other being rugby union. Rugby league originated following a series of disputes within the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) culminating in a breakaway during 1895 and the formation of the Northern Rugby Football Union. When similar breakaways occurred in RFU-affiliated Rugby Unions in Australia and New Zealand, in 1907 and 1908, they formed associations known as Rugby Leagues and used the modified Northern Union rules. The Northern Union later changed its name to the Rugby Football League. Thus, the sport became known as rugby league.

Over the decades following the split, or schism, in 1895, rugby league's rules have been gradually changed, deliberately resulting in a faster and more open spectator sport.

Rugby league is most prominent in Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, being the national sport in the latter.


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Lockyer in the defensive line
Darren Lockyer (born 24 March 1977 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer and current captain of the Australian national team, the Queensland State of Origin team and his National Rugby League club, the Brisbane Broncos. All three of these teams Lockyer has led to success in their respective competitions and he is thus widely considered one of the finest players in the modern game. In 2009 he broke the records for most games and most tries for the Australian national team.

Lockyer currently plays in the five-eighth position (also called stand-off), having moved there from his previous position of fullback in 2004. He has played more games and scored more points for the Brisbane Broncos than any other player in the club's history. He is a multiple-premiership winner, a Clive Churchill Medallist and also became only the second player to have won the Golden Boot award twice.

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Albert Baskerville
Credit: Unknown

Albert Baskerville played a large role in establishing rugby league in both Australia and New Zealand and the birth of international rugby league. He organised the 1907–1908 New Zealand rugby tour of Australia and Great Britain, gathering a group of New Zealand rugby footballers to play matches in Australia, Ceylon, England and Wales between 1907 and 1908. Most of the matches were played under the rules of the Northern Union, what is today known as rugby league. Baskerville died from pneumonia near the end of the tour, aged 25.

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Did you know...

Did you know that the most tries ever scored in a match by an individual is 11. This occurred on 4 March 1905 by George West (Hull Kingston Rovers) v Brookland Rovers.


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It's the first time I've been cold for seven years. I was never cold playing rugby league.
Jonathan Davies, player
A Question of Sport, BBC Television, 1995
Commenting on the biggest change after returning to the union code.
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Major competitions

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History of St Helens RLFC, St Helens RLFC was a founder member of the Northern Rugby Football Union in the Great Schism of 1895. They played in the first ever Challenge Cup Final in 1897 and have since been winners of the competition on 12 occasions...


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