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Rugby league in Queensland

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Title: Rugby league in Queensland  
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Subject: Queensland Rugby League, Sport in Queensland, Queensland Rugby League's Team of the Century
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rugby league in Queensland

Rugby league is the most popular winter sport in the Australian state of Queensland.[1]


The earliest record of rugby football being played in Queensland is in 1876, when the Brisbane Football Club, formed in 1866 to play 'Melbourne Rules', commenced playing according to the recently codified Rugby (Union) rules, to fit in with two newly formed football clubs (Rangers and Bonnet Rouge), before reverting to Australian Rules (with occasional Rugby matches) in 1879. The Queensland Rugby Union was subsequently constituted as the Northern Rugby Union in 1883, and a year later the first organised club competition took place in Brisbane.

The advent of professional rugby league in New South Wales saw many Queensland rugby players leaving for Sydney to play league. In 1908, the Queensland Rugby Union banned its players from going to Sydney to play league, which resulted in disgruntled players forming the Queensland Amateur Rugby Football League (QARFL) (later to be renamed Queensland Rugby League). The new organisation was attacked by both the local press and the QRU for introducing professionalism, which they claimed would destroy the sport. The first official club competition kicked off in Brisbane on May 8, 1909.

Of particular note was that at this time, league put down strong roots in the bush and in working class communities and these areas are still the heartland of the modern game of rugby league. World War I, from 1914 to 1918 saw some major rugby union clubs switch to rugby league.

In 1922 the Brisbane Rugby Football League (BRFL, later BRL) was formed out of dissatisfaction with the way the QRL ran the game. Those involved took particular exception to the salary being earned by Harry Sunderland as secretary of the QRL.

By the mid-1970s, crowds began to desert the BRL competition. Clubs found themselves in financial hardship, and the public began to support the Sydney competition which by then was being broadcast in Queensland. A state-wide competition - the Winfield State League would run in parallel to the BRL competition from 1982 to 1995.

Newly formed Brisbane Broncos along with the Gold Coast-Tweed Giants joined the New South Wales Rugby League premiership in 1988. In 1992 it was decided that South Queensland Crushers and North Queensland Cowboys would be admitted into the New South Wales Rugby League competition as part of the League's expansion plans for professional rugby league in Australia.

Gold Coast Titans joined the National Rugby League in 2007 to bring the total of Queensland-based teams up to three.

Governing body

The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) is the governing body for the sport of rugby league in Queensland. It is a member of the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and selects the members of Queensland State of Origin teams.

National Rugby League

Main article: National Rugby League

The National Rugby League (NRL) is Australia's top level competition for the sport of rugby league.

There are three Queensland based teams in the NRL: Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys.

The Gold Coast Chargers did compete in the 1998 NRL Season and the South Queensland Crushers had competed in the ARL from 1995 to 1997.


Club Location Home Ground(s) First season
Brisbane Broncos Brisbane, Queensland Suncorp Stadium 52,500 (12 home games) 1988
Gold Coast Titans Gold Coast, Queensland Skilled Park 27,500 (12 home games) 2007
North Queensland Cowboys Townsville, Queensland Dairy Farmers Stadium 25,000 (12 home games) 1995


Club Location Home Ground(s) Seasons
Gold Coast Chargers Gold Coast, Queensland Carrara Stadium 22,000 (12 home games) 1988 - 1998
South Queensland Crushers Brisbane, Queensland Lang Park 22,000 (11 home games) 1995 - 1997


National Rugby League 2013 Expansion Bid Clubs
Bid Area Home City Home Ground(s) Bid Club Website Official Launch
Brisbane Brisbane, Queensland Lang Park (52,500) Brisbane Bombers ? 2011, January
Central Queensland Rockhampton, Queensland Browne Park (5,200)
Upgrade to (25,000)
Central Queensland ? 2009, April
Ipswich Ipswich, Queensland Lang Park (52,500) Ipswich Jets 2010, Ipswich
Logan Logan City, Queensland Meakin Park (10,000) Logan Scorpions 2009, October
Sunshine Coast Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Stockland Park (12,000) Sunshine Coast Falcons ?
Toowoomba Toowoomba, Queensland Clive Berghofer Stadium (9,000) Toowoomba Clydesdales ?

Major Competitions in Queensland

Queensland Cup

Main article: Queensland Cup

The Queensland Cup has been contested since 1996. Since 1998 the team winning the Queensland Cup is considered to be the premier club team in Queensland. This is because in 1996 and 1997 it was contested parallel to the Brisbane Rugby League, which was considered the premier competition in the state.

The Queensland Cup grew out of the Winfield State League. Since its formation in 1995, the Queensland Cup has been known as the Queensland Cup, Bundy Gold Cup, Channel 9 Cup. For sponsorship reasons it is currently known as the Entrust Super Cup.

FOGS Cup & FOGS Colts Challenge

Main article: FOGS Colts Challenge

Also known as the FOGS Cup & FOGS Colts Challenge, they are run by the Queensland Rugby League's South East Division. It is made up of 12 clubs, 7 of which play in the Queensland Cup. Generally, it is regarded as the division below the Queensland Cup. The FOGS Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge are formerly known as the Quest Cup and Mixwell Cup

Foley Shield

Main article: Foley Shield

The Foley Shield competition began in North Queensland in 1948. With the introduction of the Queensland Cup in 1996 the Foley Shield competition was scrapped, only to be reintroduced in 2000. Since the revamp in 2000 it has only contested by the three largest cities in North Queensland; Cairns, Mackay and Townsville.

Past Competitions

Brisbane Rugby League

Main article: Brisbane Rugby League

The Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) premiership was the premier competition in Queensland from 1909 until 1997. It was superseded by the Queensland Cup.

Bulimba Cup

Main article: Bulimba Cup

The Bulimba Cup was a representative competition contested between Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba. It was contested between 1925 and 1972.

Winfield State League

Main article: Winfield State League

The Winfield State League was a Queensland-wide competition that was held in a variety of formats between 1982 and 1995. This competition was superseded by the Queensland Cup.

State of Origin

Main Article: Queensland State of Origin Team

The Queensland State of Origin side is by far Queensland's most loved football team. Purely a representative team, they play three games a year against New South Wales in the competition known as the State of Origin, thus named because players represent their state of birth or the state where they played their first senior game of football. They are currently captained by Darren Lockyer and coached by Mal Meninga.

The Queensland and New South Wales teams are heavily competitive. During the 1980s Queensland had the upper hand (8 out of 10 to Qld); during the 1990s, factoring in Super League which took out most of the Queensland team (through the Brisbane Broncos), the results were reasonably similar (6 out of 10 to NSW); and during the first decade of the 2000s, New South Wales has had the upper hand, but are by no means dominant (4 out of 7 to NSW, with the most recent to Qld).

See also


External links

  • Queensland Rugby League
  • League's Queensland page
  • Queensland Rugby League History
  • Rugby League clubs in Queensland
  • Queensland Masters Rugby League Association inc
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