Western Australian Rugby League
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|Western Australian Rugby League|
|Formerly named||Western Australian Amateur Rugby League|
|Headquarters||nib Stadium, Pier Street, Perth|
|Key people||John Sackson (Chief Executive)|
As of 20 April 2014
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.
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.
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. 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.
International touring teams in WA
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Pilbara Rugby League
The Pilbara Rugby League is a six club competition in the north-west of Western Australia. The clubs are:
- Karratha Broncos
- Karratha Roosters
- Karratha Storm
- Port Hedland Hawks
- South Hedland Cougars
- Wickham Wasps
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).
First Grade Premiers
Notable WARL juniors competed in the NRL
- Jon Grieve (1991-97 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles & Western Reds)
- Luke Goodwin (1992-99 Canterbury, Penrith, Perth Reds & Wests)
- Jon Green (2006-13 Cronulla Sharks, St George & Canterbury)
- Bryson Goodwin (2007- Cronulla Sharks, South Sydney & Canterbury) l
- Bronx Goodwin (2007-12 Cronulla Sharks, St George & South Sydney)
- Cory Paterson (2007- Newcastle, North Queensland & Wests Tigers)
- Daniel Holdsworth (2004-14 Cronulla Sharks, St George & Canterbury)
- Jarrad Millar (1997 Western Reds)
- Lee Te Maari (2006-10 St George, Canterbury & Parramatta)
- Curtis Rona (2014–16 North Queensland Cowboys,Canterbury)
- Waqa Blake (2015- Penrith Panthers)
- Shanice Parker (2015- Australian Jillaroos)
- Chance Peni
- Royce Hunt (2016 Canberra Raiders)
- Jordan Pererira (2018- St George Illawarra Dragons)
South Headland Cougars
- "WARL – Our History". Western Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- "WA Rugby League Staff Members". Western Australian Rugby League. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
- 1982 Western Australia vs Australia at Rugby League Project
- "Pilbara Rugby League". Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Taylor, Nick (2 June 2015). "Goodwin chasing win for Souths and softer landing". The West Australian. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Barrows, Tim (10 February 2010). "Jon Green embarks on Perth with Dragons". The Age. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- 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.
- Forrest, Brad (6 March 2014). "DJ looks set for chance in halves". St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Webeck, Tony (18 April 2014). "Roosters trash a Cowboy". NRL.com. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- 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.
- Walshaw, Nick (26 April 2015). "Waqa Blake a Future State of Origin Star". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 April 2015.