Major Rugby League Events

Rugby league is played in more than 50 countries worldwide. The strongest rugby league nations are England, Australia and New Zealand, who contest the Rugby League Four Nations most years. Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea, and is also played professionally in France, and Wales. It is due to be played professionally in the United States by 2011 or sometime in the near future.

The current World Champions are New Zealand, who won the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Prior to this, Australia had won every world cup since 1975.

In Australia, rugby league is the dominant winter sport in the ACT, Queensland and New South Wales, which combined, include more than half the population of Australia.

The two most prominent fully professional leagues in the rugby league world are the Australian National Rugby League, in which a professional New Zealand team also plays, and the engage Super League, which consists of professional teams from England, plus one from France and another from Wales.

Domestic leagues exist below the NRL and Super League, especially on a state or county level, and semi-professional and amateur leagues exist in many other countries most notably the Queensland Cup and NSW Cup which feed players into NRL teams, the Co-operative Championship which is a semi professional rugby league competition that involves mostly English teams and one team from France.

The Championship One is the third tier of British rugby league which has 10 teams from England plus one from Wales. The AMNRL, which is an amateur/semi-professional rugby league competition in the United States has 11 teams mostly from the East Coast ranging Boston in the North to Jacksonville in the South.

The AMNRL's War at the Shore tournament also features teams from outside the games heartland with the Canada national rugby league team and Chicago Stockyarders taking part in the 2010 War at the Shore and are planned to take part in the AMNRL in the future. The Elite One Championship which is a semi professional rugby league competition in France has teams mostly situated in the south. and the Russian Championship which has featured a team in the Challenge Cup.

A full-time professional domestic league - the National Rugby League USA - is also being planned for the United States. It is due to start its first professional season in 2011 or sometime in the near future, with a hope of tapping into the country's already well-established support for American football, which is generally similar to rugby league in principle.

In Papua New Guinea (where rugby league is the national sport) the game is played semi professionally the Bemobile Cup has provided many players to the PNG national team such as Menzie Yere, Charlie Wabo who have gone on to play professionally in the UK. There has also been interest from PNG to get a team into the NRL.

Both Australia and Europe have their own domestic cup tournaments. The Rugby Football League's Challenge Cup is contested by amateur and professional teams. In Australia, the Rugby League State of Origin series is a domestic tournament, played between New South Wales and Queensland teams. New South Wales also has a one-match City vs Country Origin annually. There are also amateur and semi-professional competitions in Samoa, Tonga, Serbia, Fiji, Ireland, Georgia, Scotland, Russia, Lebanon, Germany, Japan, the Malta and Jamaica and many other countries.