The Ashes (rugby league)
|Number of teams||2|
|Most titles||Australia (20 titles)|
The Ashes series, similar to the cricket series of the same name, was a best-of-three series of test matches between the British and Australian national rugby league football teams. It was contested 39 times from 1908 until 2003 largely with hosting rights alternating between the two countries. From 1973 Australia won thirteen consecutive Ashes series.
Several sports and events adopted cricket's Ashes "concept" and by the beginning of the 20th century it was an "accepted principle" that a series had to have at least three matches to be a true test of which side was the best.
On 27 September 1908, the first touring Australian rugby league side arrived in England, and played their first ever Test against the England side in December in London. Two further Tests were played. The Australians suggested that the series should be called "The Ashes" and the name stuck.
The format used is that three matches are played, with the winning team being decided on the basis of most matches won. If one team has already won two matches the series is already won, however the final game is usually still played. In the 1929–30 Ashes series both the teams won one game and one game was drawn; it was therefore decided to hold a further match to determine the outcome.
The British side has not always been termed Great Britain; in the past the titles "Northern Union XIII", "England" and "The Lions" have also been used. Similarly, in the early days until the mid-1920s the Australian sides had sometimes included New Zealand players so were styled "Australasia".
Since 1964 the Harry Sunderland Medal is awarded to the best Australian player in a home Ashes series. Since 1970, the series has been very one sided, Australia having won 13 consecutive ashes.
The Ashes had not been contested since 2003 when, in 2009 with the prospect of not contesting them until after the 2013 World Cup, Britain's Rugby Football League (RFL) challenged the Australian Rugby League (ARL) to play the round-robin stage match of the Four Nations tournament with the Ashes at stake. The one-off game would be a departure from the usual three-match series, additionally the contest would be between England, rather than Great Britain, and Australia. The ARL initially agreed to the proposal but later, facing hostility from former Ashes players and fans who thought the proposals devalued the Ashes, the two governing bodies decided not to proceed.
RUGBY LEAGUE FOOTBALL
Australia v England
CITY TATTERSALLS CLUB
The Cup was first presented in 1928 to The Lions, after they defeated Australia 2–1 in the series. Following the 1933–34 series, in which England retained the Cup for the third time since first being presented with it, the Cup disappeared in the United Kingdom. The Cup was found in October 1945. During the period it was missing, the Lions had won each series and the Cup's disappearance was not widely known. The Australian team first won the Cup in 1950.
|Year||Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|1908–09||Northern Union (GB)||2–0||Australia|
|1910||Australia||0–2||Northern Union (GB)|
|1914||Australia||1–2||Northern Union (GB)|
|1920||Australia||2–1||Northern Union (GB)|
|1921–22||The Lions (GB)||2–1 (1 Tied)||Australia|
|1932||Australia||1–2||The Lions (GB)|
|1933-34||The Lions (GB)||3–0||Australia|
|1936||Australia||1–2||The Lions (GB)|
|1937||The Lions (GB)||2–1||Australia|
|1946||Australia||0–2||The Lions (GB)|
Summary of Ashes series
|All series||39||20 (51.3%)||19 (48.7%)||0 (0.0%)|
|Series in Australia||19||9 (47.4%)||10 (52.6%)||0 (0.0%)|
|Series in Great Britain||20||11 (55.0%)||9 (45.0%)||0 (0.0%)|
|All Tests||119||59 (49.6%)||55 (46.2%)||5 (4.2%)|
|Tests in Australia||57||28 (49.1%)||27 (47.4%)||2 (3.5%)|
|Tests in Great Britain||62||31 (50%)||28 (45.2%)||3 (4.8%)|
|Figures up to and including the 3rd Test of the 2003 series|
Records and Statistics
- Australia - 70,204 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, 6 June 1932
- Great Britain - 57,034 at Wembley Stadium, 22 October 1994
- Australia def. Great Britain 50-12 at Station Road, Swinton, 9 November 1963
- Great Britain def. Australia 40-17 at Sydney Cricket Ground, 19 July 1958
- 38 points - Australia def. Great Britain 50-12 at Station Road, Swinton, 9 November 1963
- 23 points - Great Britain def. Australia 40-17 at Sydney Cricket Ground, 19 July 1958
23 points - Great Britain def. Australia 33-10 at Princes Park, Melbourne, 26 June 1992
Most Tries in an Ashes Test
3 - Reg Gasnier at Station Road, Swinton, 17 October 1959
3 - Reg Gasnier at Wembley Stadium, 16 October 1963
3 - Ken Irvine at Station Road, Swinton, 9 November 1963
3 - Ken Irvine at Sydney Cricket Ground, 23 July 1966
3 - Gene Miles at Old Trafford, 25 October 1986
3 - Michael O'Connor at Old Trafford, 25 October 1986
- Great Britain
3 - Jim Devereux at Park Royal Ground, London, 12 December 1908
Most Points in an Ashes Test
22 (3 tries, 5 goals) by Michael O'Connor at Old Trafford, 25 October 1986
- Great Britain
20 (10 goals) by Lewis Jones at Brisbane Cricket Ground, 9 July 1954
20 (2 tries, 6 goals, 1 field goal) - Roger Millward at Sydney Cricket Ground, 20 June 1970
- Hickey, Julia (2006). Understanding Rugby League. UK: Coachwise. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-905540-10-5. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Sean Fagan (2009-09-15). "Rugby league's fight for The Ashes". rl1908.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- McCann, Liam (2006). Rugby: Facts, Figures and Fun. UK: AAPPL Artists' and Photographers' Press. p. 80.
- "Ashes brought back to life" skysports.com (4 September 2009)
- Steve Mascord (2009-09-16). "Ashes set for 2010?". RugbyLeague.com. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- "RFL scrap Ashes plan". RugbyLeague.com. 2009-09-15. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- NMA (2008-02-22). "League of Legends: 100 years of Rugby League in Australia: Conservation slideshow". National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 2009-09-23.
- Gate, Robert (1986). The struggle for the Ashes: the history of Anglo-Australian Rugby League test matches. R.E. Gate. ISBN 978-0-9511190-1-3.