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Junior rugby league in England: Wikis


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Rugby league is played at a school level in many schools in the rugby league heartlands of the traditional counties of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumberland; recently it has been introduced into some schools outside the traditional areas in particular in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. Thirty-three percent of schools across the UK offer rugby league as a school sport.[1]

The RFL uses two modified forms of rugby league created by ARL Development in Australia. Mini league (known as mini footy in Australia) is played by all children up to Year 4 of Primary School. It is designed to provide children with a safe environment, a firm knowledge of the laws of rugby league and a chance to practice the skills such as tackling, passing and common defensive and attacking tactics. Players up to and including Year 6 of Primary School play mod league. Mod league is a bridge between mini league and full contact rugby league. On completion of mod league, players make a move to full international rugby league laws.

Tag rugby and touch rugby are also widely used to introduce young children to the sport of rugby league.


Champion Schools

The Champion Schools tournament is a national competition for secondary schools. In the 2005/6 academic year over 1,200 teams and 20,000 players competed in the Champion Schools tournament, making it the largest rugby league competition in the world.[2] Eighty percent of participants are new to rugby league.[3] The growth of the Champion Schools tournament led to the creation of the Carnegie Champion Colleges competition for Years 12 and 13. The regionally based competition was introduced in 2008 and started in January.[4]

Regional Leagues and competitions

BARLA runs the Gilette National Youth League as well as the Yorkshire combination, West Riding Youth League, Hull Youth and Junior. There are county cups at age group level, known as the Yorkshire Youth Cup, Lancashire Youth Cup and the Cumbria Youth Cup.

The non-heartlands junior leagues include the Chilterns Junior Rugby League, London Junior League and Midlands Junior League.


Professional and semi-professional teams run academy sides to develop young talent.

The under-20s Super League competition is a full league with twenty rounds and top six play-offs. The under-18s, under-16s and under-15s are non-competitive and feature eight rounds in under-18s and six in under-16s and under-15s. Championship and Championship 1 sides have their own reserve grade.

The under-18s is open to either Super League clubs or Championship sides that meet very stringent criteria. The under-16s and under-15s are open to all Super League, Championship and Championship 1 sides.


  1. ^ Laura Clark (2007-10-15). "Only half of pupils compete in sports". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  2. ^ "Champions Schools Tournament". Rugby Football League. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  3. ^ "Rugby league". North Yorkshire sport. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Carnegie Champion Schools", The Rugby Football League, 13 May 2007


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