Roots of rugby league can be traced to early football history. More than 100 years ago, football was very popular in private schools. Each school had its own set of rules and depended on the playing field. The rules could be largely grouped into handling or kicking forms of football.
These rules were later codified by The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Football Association respectively. The origin of rugby football was in the England-based Rugby School.
Rugby league got its name from the breakaway faction of England's Rugby Football Union in 1895. Both the unions played rugby football League with the same set of rules until similar breakaway factions took place in Australia and New Zealand in 1907 and 1908. This led to the formation of Rugby Football Leagues. Over the years, rugby rules changed and as a result, rugby league and rugby union are two different sports entirely
According to rugby league positions, players are divided into forwards and backs. Each position has a number, 1 to 13. For players numbered 14 to 17, they come into the game as substitutes for injured players. A bench generally comprises three forward substitutes and a hooker/halves substitute.
Rugby league football uses an oval shaped ball and is a very tough sport. In the sport, two teams of thirteen members each lock horns on a grass field. Often, injuries become major issues in this sport. The sport can broadly be classified into two major types, rugby League football and rugby union.
Rugby league is played in over 30 countries, though it is most commonly played in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Australia, where it is a winter sport, but new stadiums have brought rugby league to a summer game.
Rugby league is most popular in England, Australia, New Zealand, France and it is recognized as the national sport in Papua New Guinea. Australia has won every world cup since 1975 except in the finals of the 2005 Tri-Nations Series at Elland Road in Leeds when it lost to New Zealand.
The Rugby League World Cup, which is almost as popular as football, is a vigorous contest among the best rugby teams in the world. The history of the first tournament dates back to 1954 held in France
Currently, the entire world is focusing on the next tournament that will be held in Australia in 2008. Till today, 12 tournaments that have played and Australia and New Zealand are the only teams to win it.
Super League (Europe) is a very professional rugby league football competition in England with many teams from that country taking part. But, of late French teams are also playing the tournament.