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The National Rugby League

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The National Rugby League is the highest tier rugby league in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament is the best attended club/provincial rugby tournament in the world in terms of cumulative match attendance figures, and features 15 clubs from the East Coast of Australia and a single New Zealand based club.

The National Rugby League is played annually from May to September. The League features an unusual format with the 16 competing clubs divided into two pools according to the results of the previous season. Each club then plays the 8 teams in the alternate pool home and away, whilst playing 6 of the clubs in their own pool once, and the remaining club twice, for a total of 24 matches in the regular season.

The champions of the National Rugby League are decided in the Finals Series, a knockout tournament featuring the top 4 clubs from each pool. Participating teams play a series of knockout matches culminating in the NRL Grand Final, one of Australia’s most popular sports events.

National Rugby League Betting

The National Rugby League is covered extensively by Australian based sportsbooks. These sportsbooks offer a wide variety of betting markets for each NRL match, and their prices can be compared using our odds comparison service.

UK bookmakers provide a somewhat more sparse coverage of this tournament, as time differences confine the main market for the tournament to the Pacific region. Ante-post markets for the winner of the NRL Grand Final are readily available, as are a larger array of markets for Final Series matches.

National Rugby League History

The National Rugby League has its roots in the competition founded by the New South Wales Rugby League in 1908. For decades New South Wales, and Sydney in particular, formed the hub of rugby league in Australia.

During the 1980s the New South Wales Rugby League extended its reach beyond Sydney and into the state of Brisbane, as well as other cities in New South Wales. The expansion of the tournament sparked increased interest in rugby league, and by 1994 the Australian Rugby League took control of the expanded competition.

In the late 1990s, media giant New Corporation, set up a well-funded rival league, The Super League, in an attempt to move the sport to pay television (a move that had proved successful in English football with the creation of the English Premier League).

The Super League and Australian Rugby League ran in parallel for one season, which only resulted in decreased interest and attendances in both tournaments. This prompted the ARL and the New Corporation to join forces, and culminated in the creation of the National Rugby League.

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