National Rugby League
The National Rugby League (NRL) is the premier competition of rugby league football in the world and arguably of domestic rugby football of any code in the world. It is the most popular spectator competition in the 1st and 3rd biggest Australian states(population-wise), those being New South Wales and Queensland respectively.
History of Organisations
The NRL grew out of the previous New South Wales Rugby Football League, which itself grew out of the Sydney based club competition which began in 1908. The NRL was created as a result of a merger between the Rupert Murdoch owned Super league and the Kerry Packer financed ARL which had temporarily split professional rugby league football in Australia in 1997.
There are currently sixteen clubs in the NRL. Those clubs that are located in Sydney are the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, St George-Illawarra Dragons, Canterbury Bulldogs, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Parramatta Eels, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Penrith Panthers. These teams are considered the Sydney Football Clubs.
Those clubs which are located in New South Wales outside of Sydney are the Newcastle Knights and the Canberra Raiders. These clubs are the result of franchising which occurred in 1982. They are a professional amalgamation of the clubs that existed in those two cities.
Those clubs which are located in Queensland are the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans. The Brisbane Broncos were a club that was created out of a franchise in 1988 that amalgamated the previously existing football clubs of Brisbane. The North Queensland Cowboys were created as a part of the 1995 expansion push. The Gold Coast Titans were granted a franchise to join the 2007 competition, although there had previously been clubs from the Gold Coast in the national competition.
The NRL runs for 24 rounds that are based around the Australian winter sport season. The top 8 from the league than go on to compete in a finals series which culminate in the grand final. The winner of the grand final is the premier of the competition. The winner of the 24 rounds is the minor premier. The Premier than may go on to compete against the winner of the English Rugby Super League in the World Club Challenge.