Western Australian Rugby League

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Western Australian Rugby League
Western Australian Rugby League logo
Founded 1948
Formerly named Western Australian Amateur Rugby League[1]
Responsibility Western Australia
Headquarters nib Stadium, Pier Street, Perth
Key people John Sackson [2] (Chief Executive)
Website warugbyleague.com.au
Western Australia
As of 20 April 2014

The Western Australian Rugby League (WARL) is responsible for administering the game of rugby league football in the state of Western Australia mainly the Perth metropolitan competition.

The WARL administers all forms of the game in Western Australia and runs the main Perth metropolitan competitions. This includes nine clubs in the Perth metropolitan competition, sponsored as the Harvey Norman Premiership, as well as representative teams that compete in interstate competitions.


Formed in 1948 as the Western Australian Amateur Rugby League, foundation clubs were Cottesloe, Fremantle, Perth and South Perth.[1]

Representative Football[edit]

Representative rugby league football in Western Australia has history going back to the early days of the WARL. The first interstate match played by Western Australians was against the Northern Territory in 1956, with WA winning the series 2-1.

In 1969 Darwin City invited the WARL to Darwin to play a match in celebration of Darwin's 100th founding anniversary in which WA won 23-19. In 1976 WA was invited to participate in the nationwide Amco Cup, where they defeated the Northern Territory 23-18.[1]

On 2 October 1982 to begin the 1982 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, Western Australia played the Wally Lewis captained Australian Kangaroos in a match at the Cannington Raceway in Perth (on the same day the Australian test team played their first ever test match against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby). Predictably the Kangaroos defeated WA 57-5, running in 13 tries to 1 with Parramatta Eels winger Eric Grothe, Sr. crossing for 4 tries.[3] The Australian team that day included players who would go on to be mainstays in the Australian test team over the next 5–10 years including Lewis, Grothe, Gene Miles, Steve Mortimer, Greg Conescu and Wayne Pearce as well as test veterans Rod Morris and Les Boyd.

NT toured again in 1983 & 1985 and since 1994 Western Australia has competed annually in the Affiliated States Championship, winning the most titles (thirteen) of any state.[1]

International touring teams in WA[edit]

International football also has a history in WA, with Great Britain Lions touring Perth in 1950, 1957, 1962, 1975 and France touring in 1951, 1964, 1990.[1]

Club Football[edit]

WARL's logo until 2012

The first tour game by an interstate club was in 1964 when Sydney's Manly Sea Eagles traveled to Perth. The first tour match by a club affiliated with the Queensland Rugby League was in 1986 when the Tweed Heads Seagulls played a match against a combined 'Perth City' team. Further interstate club matches occurred in 1989 with visits from Canterbury Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders.[1]

Following the demise of the Western Reds professional rugby league was lost to WA. The next match occurred in 1999 when the Western Suburbs Magpies hosted the Melbourne Storm in an NRL premiership match. Further premiership matches followed in 2005 when Cronulla Sharks hosted the New Zealand Warriors,[1] and in July 2013 when the South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted the New Zealand Warriors at NIB Stadium

Trial matches have also been played, with South Sydney Rabbitohs hosting Canterbury Bulldogs in the 2005 pre-season.[1]

National competition[edit]

Main article: WA Reds

The staging of New South Wales Rugby League premiership matches in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to a push for a Perth-based entry into the Australian Rugby League competition. In 1992 the Western Reds club was accepted into the national competition and would play its first season in 1995. The Reds would play in 1996 and in the Australian Super League in 1997 under the Perth Reds moniker.

Debt, issues surrounding the Super League war and formation of the National Rugby League led to the club being wound-up at the end of the 1997 season.

On 12 December 2006 the Australian Rugby League board accepted a proposal to establish a Western Australian Rugby League representative side to play in the NSWRL Jim Beam Cup for seasons 2008 & 2009, known as the WA Reds and played home matches at Perth Oval. In season 2010 the decision was made to enter the WA Reds team into the SG Ball Cup Under 18 competition. The season was a tough one with the 'Reds' finishing next to bottom of the ladder winning only their opening game of the season. The 2011 season saw the young Reds side improve their credentials finishing 13/18 with 3 wins from 9 matches for the season.

On 27 June 2012 the Western Australian Rugby League announced a new identity for its NRL entry bid. The West Coast Pirates has been released as the team name, with the logo a Pirate Skull over Crossed Cutlasses.

The announcement of this new bid identity is viewed as a longer term strategy for a Western Australian-based National Rugby League but as yet seems further from implementation than when first conceived many due to the NRL officially stating that will be no further expansion until 2017 to shore up its financially weak structure.

WARL competitions[edit]

Pilbara Rugby League[edit]

The Pilbara Rugby League is a six club competition in the north-west of Western Australia. The clubs are:[4]


The WARL, sponsored as the Smarter Than Smoking Premiership, is the premier rugby league football competition in the state. The majority of the nine clubs originate in the Perth metro area and both Fremantle and South Perth are foundation WARL clubs. Junior grades run from under 11's up to under 16's and senior competition is divided into five divisions, Men's First Grade, Reserve Grade, Under 18s and Third Grade, and Women's League Tag (Flag Belt).

Colours Club District Ground Founded Junior Association
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Fremantle Roosters Fremantle Ken Allen Field 1948 Southern Pride
Giantscolours.svg Joondalup Giants Joondalup Admiral Reserve 1990 Northern Fusion
Canterbury colours.svg Kalamunda Bulldogs Belmont Pioneer Park 1949 Northern Fusion
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg North Beach Sea Eagles North Beach Charles Riley Reserve 1951 Northern Fusion
Cronulla colours.svg Rockingham Coastal Sharks Rockingham Lark Hill Sports Complex 1988 Southern Pride
Saintscolours.svg South Perth Lions South Perth George Burnett Park 1948 Southern Pride
New Zealand colours.svg South West Warriors Bunbury Bunbury Runners Club 2011
North Sydney colours.svg Willagee Bears Willagee Webber Reserve 1962 Southern Pride
Gthundercolours.svg Mandurah Storm Mandurah 2013 South West Dolphins
South Sydney colours.svg Ellenbrook Rabbitohs Ellenbrook 2015 Northern Fusion
Mackay Cutters colours.svg Kwinana Wolves Kwinana 2015 Southern Pride
South Queensland colours.svg Goldfields Titans Kalgoorlie-Boulder Goldfields Oasis 2009–2012
Wests Tigers colours.svg Alkimos Tigers Eglinton 2015 Northern Fusion
Brisbane colours.svg Bussellton Broncos Bussellton 2017 South West Dolphins
Norths Devils colours.svg Bunbury Titans Bunbury Hay Park Sports Complex 2017 South West Dolphins
Italy colours.svg Dalyellup Rhinos Dalyellup 2017 South West Dolphins
Panthers colours.svg Eaton Panthers Egaton 2017 South West Dolphins

First Grade Premiers[edit]

Year Club Titles
1948 South Perth 1
1949 South Perth 2
1950 Fremantle 1
1951 Perth 1
1952 South Perth 3
1953 South Perth 4
1954 South Perth 5
1955 Cottesloe 1
1956 Victoria Park 1
1957 South Perth 6
1958 South Perth 7
1959 Victoria Park 2
1960 Victoria Park 3
1961 Fremantle 2
1962 Victoria Park 4
1963 Fremantle 3
1964 Applecross 1
1965 Applecross 2
1966 Applecross 3
1967 Applecross 4
1968 Victoria Park 5
1969 Applecross 5
1970 Applecross 6
1971 North Beach 1
1972 Applecross 7
1973 South Perth 8
1974 North Beach 2
1975 South Perth 9
1976 Fremantle 4
1977 Fremantle 5
1978 Canning 1
1979 Mosman-Cottesloe 2
1980 North Beach 3
1981 Mosman-Cottesloe/Fremantle 3/6
1982 South Perth 10
1983 South Perth 11
1984 North Beach 4
1985 North Beach 5
1986 Applecross 8
1987 Belmont 1
1988 Belmont 2
1989 Belmont 3
1990 Canning 2
1991 Canning 3
1992 Applecross 9
1993 Rockingham 1
1994 Canning 4
1995 Belmont 4
1996 South Perth 12
1997 Fremantle 7
1998 North Beach 6
1999 Canning 5
2000 Joondalup 1
2001 North Beach 7
2002 South Perth 13
2003 North Beach 8
2004 South Perth 14
2005 South Perth 15
2006 North Beach 9
2007 North Beach 10
2008 South Perth 16
2009 South Perth 17
2010 South Perth 18
2011 South Perth 19
2012 North Beach 11
2013 North Beach 12
2014 South Perth 20
2015 Fremantle 8
2016 North Beach 13

Notable WARL juniors competed in the NRL[edit]

Fremantle Roosters

South Perth Lions

North Beach Sea Eagles

Belmont Steelers

Joondalup Giants

Willagee Bears

South Headland Cougars

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "WARL – Our History". Western Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  2. ^ "WA Rugby League Staff Members". Western Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  3. ^ 1982 Western Australia vs Australia at Rugby League Project
  4. ^ "Pilbara Rugby League". Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Taylor, Nick (2 June 2015). "Goodwin chasing win for Souths and softer landing". The West Australian. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Barrows, Tim (10 February 2010). "Jon Green embarks on Perth with Dragons". The Age. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (8 July 2007). "How a Brave Dad and dead uncle spurs this young knight to chase dreams of glory". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  8. ^ Forrest, Brad (6 March 2014). "DJ looks set for chance in halves". St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Webeck, Tony (18 April 2014). "Roosters trash a Cowboy". NRL.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Stewart, Antony (22 April 2014). "North Queensland Cowboys Perth Product Curtis Rona strengthens West Coast Pirates NRL expansion case". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Walshaw, Nick (26 April 2015). "Waqa Blake a Future State of Origin Star". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 April 2015. 

External links[edit]