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7 March 2008

The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has opened an exhibition celebrating the history of Rugby League, League of Legends: 100 years of Rugby League in Australia. The free exhibition will be on display in Canberra until May 11 and travel to Brisbane, Sydney, Townsville and Melbourne.

Starting as a breakaway football competition established in defiance of the New South Wales Rugby Union, league has grown to become one of the most popular of Australian sports, a skilful fast moving game that has the passionate support of its fans.

'For the National Museum of Australia a hundred years of Rugby League is the ideal opportunity to pause and consider the history of the game. It is a history worth remembering,' said Craddock Morton, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

'League of Legends reminds us of the great teams and personalities of the past and triumphs and despair that are at the hearts of great sporting contests. The exhibition includes objects and photos which reveal a changing Australia, they speak of tribal loyalties of suburbs and the changing nature of sport,' said Mr Morton.

The exhibition displays treasures of the game, including caps and the Royal Agricultural Society Shield recalling the great Dally Messenger, trophies including the remarkable Courtney Goodwill Trophy, the Winfield Cup and State of Origin Shield and radio commentator Frank Hyde's binoculars and folding card table from which he called rugby league games for three decades.

The exhibition was developed with the Centenary of Rugby League Committee and will be on display in Canberra until May 11, 2008. League of Legends: 100 years of Rugby League in Australia will then travel to the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville and the National Sport Museum, Melbourne.

For more information about League of Legends: 100 Years of Rugby League in Australia visit

For interviews, images, list of objects and fact sheets please contact Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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