Midlands Merit League
|Rugby League Merit League|
|Number of teams||21|
|Related competition||Midlands Rugby League, North West Merit League, Yorkshire & Humber Merit League|
The Midlands Merit League, was a summer rugby league tournament in England held between 2006 and 2009. It was a feeder league to the Rugby League Conference and had a season that runs from April to August. In its last season of 2009, it was also known as the RL Merit League.
The league was founded as the Midlands Merit League 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 8 April 2006 at All Saints Sports College, Sheffield, where the Sheffield Forgers beat the Chesterfield Spires by 58 points to 8.
The 2007 season saw the introduction of an informal under-15 league based on Merit League principles. In 2008 the junior competition featured under-14 and under-16 divisions.
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 pools; "Yorkshire and Humber" and "North West" with the Midlands Rugby League becoming its own competition using merit league rules.
Teams joining the Rugby League Conference
The league has also proved popular with clubs in the Rugby League Conference (RLC) providing players or teams to the Midlands Merit League.
- 2007 South Humber Rabbitohs
- 2008 East Riding and Sheffield Forgers
- 2009 Nottingham Outlaws A, Moorends-Thorne Marauders A (failed to start season), Parkside Hawks(called up after one game), Wigan Riversiders
- 2010 Barnsley, Chester Gladiators, Crewe & Nantwich Steamers, Mancunians RL, Victoria Rangers, Wigan Riversiders Eels
|2006||South Humber Rabbitohs||42–18||Nottingham Outlaws Academy|
|2007||St Helens Wild Boars||46–22||German Exiles|
|2008||Moorends-Thorne Marauders ML||28–18||Wigan Riversiders|
|2009||Upton RL||52–24||Huyton Bulldogs|
|2007||East Riding RLC||32–26||Nottingham Outlaws Academy|
|2008||Nottingham Outlaws Academy||34–32||Sheffield Forgers|
North West pool
|2009||Huyton Bulldogs||36–12||Wigan Eels|
Yorkshire and the Humber pool
|2009||Upton RL||30–22||Victoria Rangers|
- British rugby league system
- London League (rugby league)
- Midlands Rugby League
- Rugby League Conference