Rugby League Archives

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The Earl greets the Corps while other dignitaries arrive and make small talk. The Earl makes his way down the stand onto the pitch to greet the players, which include two black players in the Welsh line up.

Some highlights of the match are shown as well as the large crowd gathered in the stands. The next film is of the second leg of the Challenge Cup Final between Bradford Northern, in the white shirts, and Wigan, in the dark shirts, on 22nd April Wigan won the first leg at Central Park Wigan Northern won this leg in front of a 30, crowd. Highlights of the game are shown, including the players taking a half time break sitting next to the stands. At the end of the game, the Northern team goes up to collect the cup and celebrate.

This film is one of several donated to the YFA by Bradford Bulls, all featuring rugby games at Bradford, including the first rugby league game of the test series between a Great Britain team and Australia, played at Headingley, Leeds, in The film comprises several games all taking place during the Second World War.

1950s UK Rugby League, Great Britain vs New Zealand, Colour Archive Footage

They form an interesting selection, including an international and a game between rugby league and rugby union teams. The Bradford Bulls are involved with the Rugby League Heritage Project which also includes a photographic archive see their website in References for more details. Yorkshire has a special place in the history of rugby — probably the single most important county in rugby history — and especially Bradford, with Manningham, just down the road, being the first team to win the National Union Championship. It might seem surprising that these games took place during the war, but, apart from , the Rugby League Championship and the Challenge Cup both continued to be played during the war, with the final switching to Bradford from Wembley for and , with the next two years aggregating the home and away matches.

It was felt that the continuation of sport was good for morale, although rugby league was affected with clubs closing down and a Wartime Emergency League set up in In November the RFU passed a resolution, with restrictions, allowing for players to play for teams from across the rugby divide. Rugby union was much more affected however, and football was re-organised into regions.

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This difference in the affect of the war might reflect the geographical and occupational difference: with many in Yorkshire and Lancashire still having to work down the mines and in factories. The history of rugby league is an intriguing one. Football of some kind has a long and convoluted history: if the object of football is to kick a leather ball between two posts than it goes back to the Shang Dynasty of China in the 5th century BC. The modern games of football and rugby gradually emerged out of each other during the middle of the nineteenth century.

Rugby League

Famously, it is claimed that rugby started at Rugby School in when a pupil, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball, but this has been exposed as a myth. The rules of modern football date from when the Football Association was founded. The following year the first rugby clubs were formed in Leeds and Huddersfield, followed by Hull in and York in Bradford too was formed in , an offshoot of the cricket club.

Usually these clubs played a game that was a mixture of football and rugby. The division between rugby league and union began in when the RFU, unhappy about the dominance of the largely working-class northern clubs, introduced strict amateur rules. The Rugby Football Union opposed this, wanting to retain their gentleman status, leading to suspensions and eventual split, with the Northern Rugby Football Union NU - later to become known as rugby league being established in Two years later the NU abolished the line-out and reduced the value of all goals to two points, and making tries worth three points.

Although rugby league became professional in , there has never been any enthusiasm for the two rugby codes to combine. It was hoped at the time that these war time games might bring the two sides together, but this never materialised: the tribal divisions seemed to be far too set for that! Each of the games shown in the film has interesting aspects, but perhaps the more fascinating games are those involving league and union players: the Combined Services Rugby League team and the Combined Services Rugby Union team, on 29th April , and the Yorkshire Services XV versus Northern Command XV in February Similar games combining the two sets of players were held during the First World War.

In fact it was only ever a war that brought the two codes together, and inter-service games flourished.

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This game was one of many events of that time to raise funds for various war related causes. The previous year, , a Northern Command army rugby league side defeated a Northern Command union side at Headingley.

Rugby League Archives | Brighton Beach Club

Development is also underway to extend the match centre to include community leagues and there is far more to come in the near future to engage all corners of the Rugby League audience. Super League representatives from all clubs were in attendance. After photos and press interviews the players took part in sponsor led challenges whilst coaches were quizzed on their hopes and expectations for the coming season.

They told me that they had played for fun and love of the game. They were extremely surprised to hear that their engagement in the predictor had culminated in such an amazing prize. That prize was 2 premium tickets to every major event this year including the England vs New Zealand series.

Wales Rugby League - Official Stats

I feel that one of the biggest challenges facing rugby league in the UK is the lack of awareness and engagement in the south. Rugby union dominates there and the annual Challenge Cup Final provides only a glimpse of what this sport has to offer. I took my year-old nephew to the Challenge Cup Final, teaching him the rules on the journey and he thoroughly enjoyed the whole occasion.

However, without my involvement he would not have known that this event, or maybe even the sport even existed. The road ahead is challenging but I think that rugby league is on the cusp of grabbing more attention from media and commercial partners. This will be rewarding to see for the players and fans of this entertaining and inclusive sport and I am excited to join the RFL on this journey.


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To get involved in the action, you can download the Our League app now:. The Rugby Football League RFL approached InCrowd to realise their ambitions to build a world leading membership platform for spectators, viewers and participants of rugby league. Plans for a membership website and mobile apps included exclusive content, member benefits, participation features, a ticketing integration, gamification and polls to help drive fan experience and return on investment for the RFL.

InCrowd provided the necessary resource and expertise to ensure the deadline was met, resulting in the on time launch of the official Our League app and website. One lucky member, Neil Cunliffe, and is wife were flown to watch England in the final in Australia as a result of finishing top of the membership leaderboard after the Quarter Finals.