Rugby league has always relied upon the support of ordinary Australians to keep it alive. People play rugby league across Australia at all sorts of levels, from the amateur to the professional, in all sorts of places, from big city stadiums to small town parks.
While it has changed significantly in the past 100 years, rugby league has remained, at its base, a ‘grass roots’ game with widespread participation and a strong supporter base.
Aussie All Blacks
In the 1970s the Redfern All Blacks Junior Rugby League Football Club, affiliated with South Sydney, was formed to provide a platform for developing young players. In 2007 the club had 11 teams and participated in the annual New South Wales Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout competition.
A woman’s game
Veronica White learned how to play rugby league with her four older brothers in her backyard.
From 1994, White has represented Brothers Ipswich, Queensland and Australia. The Veronica White Award, currently held by the Brisbane and Districts Women’s Rugby League Association, has been awarded to the Queensland state champions since 2006.
Rugby league pioneer Katrina Fanning was the ACT Australian of the Year in 2020.
When suicide bombers struck the island resort of Bali on 12 October 2002, the Coogee Dolphins A-grade team lost six players.
Adding to strong displays of solidarity and support from the rugby league community, recently retired high-profile players Matthew Johns and Brett Mullins played for the club when it entered a team in the World Sevens Series.
In our collection