Key Dates & Anniversaries

Key Dates

1895

On 29th August 1895, the game that is Rugby League today, began when 21 clubs based in the north of England broke away from English Rugby Union’s governing body and formed their own competition. The breakaway was caused by the northern clubs desire to pay players which was outlawed at the time in Rugby Union.

1897 

Batley win the first ever Challenge Cup Final. 

The ‘line-out’ was abolished. 

All goals become worth two points.

1902

Two division structure introduced for clubs

1906 

Thirteen-a-side introduced alongside the game’s distinctive play-the-ball movement.

1907 

First Rugby League tour of the UK by an overseas team – The tour party were New Zealand Union players who had switched and were dubbed the ‘All Golds’ by hostile section of the Kiwi media for their supposed mercenary motivation.

1908

Rugby League was played in Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

1929

Wembley stages first Challenge Cup Final.

1933

France stages its first Rugby League match. An exhibition match between England and Australia.

1948

First televised Rugby League match – Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Rugby League’s International Board was formed.

1954

Rugby League stages its first ever World Cup tournament. Great Britain defeat France 16-12 in the final in Paris.

1969

Substitutes allowed at any time during game.

1972 

Introduction of the six tackle rule plus timekeepers with hooter / siren at the end of the game.

1981

Fulham Rugby League club formed. They then become London Crusaders, London Broncos and finally Harlequins RL.

1983

Sin Bin introduced for on-field offences.

1991

Academy Under 18 League introduced.

1992

10-metre rule introduced.

1996

Super League is introduced. 

The sport moves to a summer season.

Video replays introduced to assist referees with try scoring decisions.

Clubs in the top division become professional with full time coaches and playing squads.

Squad numbers introduced for Super League players.

1998

An end of season play-off and Grand Final system introduced to decide Super League Championship.

Super League goes on the road playing League matches in Cardiff, Swansea, Gateshead and Northampton.

The inaugural Grand Final staged at Old Trafford attracts almost 44,000.

1999

Last Challenge Cup Final to be played at Wembley prior to re-building.

2000

World Club Challenge re-introduced at the start of the season.

Rugby League World Cup staged in UK

2006 

Great Britain stage first extended overseas tour for more than a decade.

2007 

Millennium Magic Event introduced - a full round of Super League matches staged over one weekend in Cardiff. 

Challenge Cup Final returns to the new Wembley Stadium. Catalans Dragons and St Helens contest the first final here. 

Great Britain win first Test Series for 14 years defeating New Zealand three Test to nil.

2008 

Great Britain team to separate into England, Wales, Scotland and Irealand to boost international development and to compete in 2008 World Cup.

Anniversaries

2011

125 Years - RFU Introduces amateurism, sowing the seeds for the 1895 split

50 Years - Leeds win first ever Championship

25 Years - First ever Rugby League International match at Old Trafford (1986)

2012

50 Years - GB tour Australia losing only one match (final test by one point)

2013

150 Years - formation of the oldest rugby league club (Bradford 1863)

125 Years - Maori become the first rugby tourists to visit UK (1888)

75 Years - Salford win Challenge Cup for the first time

25 Years - Wigan begin run of record eight successive Championships

2014

150 Years - founding of the first rugby club in Leeds (1864)

150 Years - founding of Huddersfield Athletic Club, forerunner of the Giants (1864)

100 Years - Rorkes Drift Test Match (1914)

100 Years - Albert Rosenfeld scores 80 tries in a season (1914)

100 Years - Hull win Challenge Cup for the first time

50 Years - Substitutes allowed for the first time

2015

150 Years - Founding of Hull FC (1865)

125 Years - Opening of Headingley (1890)

100 Years - Huddersfield win All Four Cups