Treasures of the game
Over the past 100 years, rugby league teams have been united by a common goal: the desire to bring home the trophy. Awards including the Winfield cups and the State of Origin shield inspire players and fans, capturing the competitive spirit of the game.
These trophies, along with treasured caps, footballs and other memorabilia on show in the original League of Legends exhibition are a link to the great moments and personalities of the past 100 years.
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England versus Australia badge, 1920
Courtesy Australian and New South Wales Rugby League. Photo: George Serras.
Super League Cup, 1997
Courtesy Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Club. Photo: Lannon Harley.
A reminder of how close rugby league came to self-destructing, the Super League Cup was awarded in 1997, when 22 teams played for premiership glory in two separate competitions.
The situation arose as part of a battle over television rights. It was resolved late that year when peace talks resulted in the formation of a single National Rugby League competition.
Resch's beer sign
Courtesy New South Wales Rugby League.
'Resch's Refreshes! Resch's Beer' poster depicting an Australian representative player, about 1950s.
Australian breweries have sponsored rugby league from the game's early years. The game's image as being tough, physical and demanding suited marketers, who thought such activity was deserving of an icy cold beer.
From the 1930s to 1950s, rugby league 'pub art' commissioned by breweries featured prominently in many Sydney hotels.