Student Rugby League
Rugby league in universities has been an important vehicle for expansion of the game as players from outside the heartlands often first began to play at university level. Many continue to play after leaving university and this has led to the creation of teams in non-traditional areas such as London Skolars and the University of Gloucestershire All Golds.
Yorkshire Universities and Colleges played against Lancashire at Halifax RLFC in 1976. The Yorkshire side was selected by Fred Lindop, coach and professional referee and included a number of players from Airedale & Wharfedale College. 22 - 0 down at half time the Yorkshire side fought back to tie the match at 22 - 22.
Founded in 1967 when a team was created at Leeds University by Andrew Cudbertson, Jack Abernathy and Cec Thompson, other teams soon joined in areas of the United Kingdom which lay outside of the games traditional heartlands. The first university game was between Leeds and Liverpool in 1968. A year later the Universities and Colleges Rugby League was formed after student pioneers fought hard to get the sport recognised in higher education. Portsmouth and Swansea were early non-traditional areas to accept the game.
Student Rugby League reached Scotland in 1989 when a group of students at Aberdeen University established a team and formed the first Scotland Students squad
The Pioneers were formed in 2005 and made their inaugural tour that year to Estonia. In the following years, development tours visited the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greece, Poland, Morocco and in 2014, to Ghana.
The elite Premier North & South competition was formed as the Super 6 in 2008.
Student Rugby League Pyramid
- Premier North & Premier South
- Northern 1, 2A & 2B; Midlands 1 & 2; South East 1; Western 1 & 2
- HE Merit League
The Premier North & South competition is the elite student league. Five matches from the 2011 Super 8 including the inaugural Grand Final were televised live and free-to-view on Premier Sports. The BUCS Competition is split into nine playing leagues with the Premier North and the Premier South being supported by seven regional leagues. The fixtures run from October until March leading up to the Championship play-off series.
The U19’s College Competition is split into three leagues, the North West, Yorkshire and the Premier Division. The College leagues play from September until March culminating in a top four play-off series. The Carnegie Champion Colleges is the knock-out competition for the Further Education sector.
Alongside SRL competitions, the top university sides can qualify for the Challenge Cup.
|Year||Super 8||Premier North||Premier South||Northern 1A||Northern 2A||Northern 2B||Midlands 1A||Midlands 2A||South East 1A||Western 1A||Western 2A|
|2007-08||N/A||Leeds Metropolitan University||Loughborough University||Edinburgh Napier University||Bangor University||Leeds Metropolitan University 'A'||Nottingham University||Lincoln University||N/A||N/A||University of Wales Institute, Cardiff|
|2008-09||Leeds Metropolitan University||Edge Hill University||University of Wales Institute, Cardiff||Northumbria University 'A'||Bangor University||Leeds University||Cambridge University||Coventry University||Oxford Brookes University||N/A||University of Gloucestershire|
|2009-10||Loughborough University||University of Central Lancashire||Loughborough University 'A'||Leeds Trinity University||Liverpool University||York St Johns University||Sheffield Hallam University||Loughborough University 'B'||Oxford Brookes University||N/A||Glamorgan University|
|2010-11||Leeds Metropolitan University||Newcastle University||Exeter University||Northumbria University 'A'||University of Salford||Newcastle University 'A'||Nottingham Trent University||Coventry University||Exeter University 'A'||N/A||University of Wales Institute, Cardiff|
|2011-12||Leeds Metropolitan University||Leeds Metropolitan University 'A'||Exeter University||Northumbria University 'A'||Manchester Metropolitan University||Leeds Trinity University||Coventry University||N/A||Oxford Brookes University||University of the West of England||Bath University|
|2012-13||University of Gloucestershire||Newcastle University||Cardiff Metropolitan University||Northumbria University 'A'||Manchester Metropolitan University||Sheffield University||Nottingham Trent University 'A'||N/A||Brunel University||South Gloucestershire & Stroud College||University of Gloucestershire 'A'|
|2013-14||N/A||Leeds Metropolitan University||Loughborough University||Sheffield Hallam University||Manchester University||Leeds University||Nottingham University||Warwick University||Cambridge University||Exeter University||Swansea University|
|2014-15||N/A||Leeds Beckett University||Loughborough University||Manchester Metropolitan University||University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)||York St John University||Coventry University||Oxford Brookes University||Brunel University||Swansea University||N/A|
Regional and 4 Nations Championships that take place annually and form the basis of the Great Britain and Ireland Academic Lions squad. This squad takes on the Australian Universities and competes for the Academic Ashes.
The 'GB Pioneers' are a representative team that undertake rugby league development tours to emerging nations.
- Tertiary Student Rugby League World Cup
- Rugby league in England
- Rugby league in Scotland
- Rugby league in Wales
- British Amateur Rugby League Association
- Rugby League Varsity Match