Rugby League in History

Rugby League: Rugby League World Cup

Events in Sport

  • 1904-04-05 The first international rugby league match is played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan, England.
  • 1908-04-20 Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.
  • 1992-01-03 English club Wigan pays Widnes a world record rugby league transfer fee of ¬£440,000 for Great Britain international winger Martin Offiah
  • 2009-03-14 Canterbury winger Hazem El Masri becomes highest point scorer in Australian Rugby League history; 33rd minute penalty in Bulldogs' 34-12 win over Manly at ANZ Stadium, Sydney takes him to 2,178; Andrew Johns, 2,176

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2014-10-05 Russell Crowe owned South Sydney Rabbitohs beat Canterbury Bulldogs, 30-6 to break 43 year drought and win National Rugby League (Australia) Premiership

  • 2018-08-01 Australian Rugby League's 'Immortals' tally moves to 13 as pre-War stars Dally Messenger, Frank Burge & Dave Brown along with latter day giants Norm Provan & Mal Meninga are added
  • 2019-04-12 Melbourne captain Cameron Smith becomes highest point scorer in Australian Rugby League history; 49th minute penalty in Storm's 18-12 win over North Queensland in Townsville takes him to 2,420; Hazem El Masri, 2,418

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1871-11-03 Albert Goldthorpe, English rugby league five eighth (RL pioneer; Hunslet 713 games), born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (d. 1943)
  • 1877-11-02 Victor Trumper, Australian cricket batsman (48 Tests, top score 214; key figure foundation of rugby league in Australia), born in Sydney, NSW (d. 1915)
  • 1879-12-03 Albert Asher, New Zealand dual-code rugby union and rugby league winger (RU 11 caps; RL Australasia 2 Tests, NZ 1), born in Tauranga, New Zealand (d. 1965)
  • 1883-04-12 Dally Messenger, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Balmain, New South Wales (d. 1959)
  • 1889-11-23 Harry Sunderland, Australian rugby league identity (d. 1964)
  • 1891-02-23 Harold Horder, Australian Rugby League player (d. 1978)
  • 1905-03-31 George Treweeke, Australian Rugby League second rower (Australia 7 Tests, South Sydney), born in Grahamstown, NSW
  • 1911-03-23 Augustus John "Gus" Risman, rugby league player
  • 1915-03-03 George Brian Snape, businessman/rugby league entrepreneur
  • 1916-07-31 Verdun Scott, New Zealand cricket batsman, rugby league utility back (10 Tests; 1 cap), born in Devonport, Auckland (d. 1980)
  • 1924-06-24 Brian Bevan, Australian rugby league footballer (d. 1991)
  • 1925-03-24 Puig Aubert, French rugby league footballer (d. 1994)
  • 1926-06-15 Basil Watts, English rugby league second rower (5 Tests Great Britain, 1 England; World Cup 1954; York RLFC), born in York, England (d. 2019)
  • 1927-01-21 Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league footballer (d. 1985)
  • 1929-02-27 Jack Gibson, Australian rugby league footballer and coach (d. 2008)
  • 1929-10-01 Ken Arthurson, Australian rugby league halfback, coach, administrator (NSWRL, ARL, Manly-Warringah chairman), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1930-05-16 Brian Davies, Rugby League player, born in Brisbane, Australia (d. 2012)
  • 1932-12-26 Don Furner, Australian rugby league forward (1 Test) and coach (Australia 15 Tests; Eastern Suburbs, Canberra Raiders), born in Condobolin, Australia (d. 2020)
  • 1933-03-20 Ian Walsh, Australian rugby league hooker, captain and coach (25 Tests; St. George), born in Bogan Gate, New South Wales (d. 2013)
  • 1934-01-12 Mick Sullivan, English rugby league footballer, born in Pudsey, England (d. 2016)
  • 1934-08-06 Billy Boston, Welsh rugby league footballer
  • 1935-01-24 Eric Ashton, English rugby league footballer, born in St Helens, United Kingdom (d. 2008)
  • 1938-12-04 Frank Myler, English rugby league stand-off (24 caps Great Britain, 1 England; Widnes, St. Helens) and coach (Widnes, Swinton, Oldham), born in Widnes, England (d. 2020)
  • 1939-04-12 Johnny Raper, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Revesby, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1939-05-12 Reg Gasnier, Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame centre and captain (36 Tests; 3 World Cup; St. George), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2014)
  • 1940-04-25 Frank Foster, English rugby league lock (1 Test GB; Workington Town, Hull Kingston Rovers, Bradford Northern) and coach (Barrow, Whitehaven), born in Maryport, England (d. 2019)
  • 1940-04-26 Cliff Watson, English rugby league front rower (St Helens, Cronulla-Sutherland, GB 30 Tests), born in London, England (d. 2018)
  • 1941-09-02 Graeme Langlands, Australian rugby league fullback, captain and coach (24 Tests; St. George), born in Wollongong, New South Wales (d. 2018)
  • 1942-07-12 Billy Smith, Australian rugby league halfback (26 Tests; St. George), born in Fremantle, Western Australia
  • 1945-08-02 Eric Simms, Australian rugby league fullback (8 Tests; NSWRL points record [1,841] stood until 1983; South Sydney), born in Karuah, Australia
  • 1947-12-01 Bob Fulton, Australian rugby league five eighth, coach and broadcaster (35 Tests; coach Australia 39 Tests; RL Immortal), born in Warrington, England
  • 1950-12-01 Wayne Bennett AM, Australian rugby league coach (Australia 1998, 2004-05; England & Great Britain 2019; Brisbane Broncos, St. George, South Sydney), born in Allora, Australia
  • 1954-11-20 Steve Rogers, Australian rugby league centre (24 Tests; NSW; Cronulla-Sutherland), born in Gold Coast, Australia (d. 2006)
  • 1957-01-05 Kevin Hastings, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Surry Hills, Australia
  • 1959-12-01 Wally Lewis, Australian rugby league five eighth, coach and broadcaster (34 Tests; Queensland 38 games; RL Immortal), born in Brisbane, Australia
  • 1961-03-27 Ellery Hanley, British rugby league player, born in Leeds
  • 1962-12-04 Gary Freeman, New Zealand rugby league halfback, captain and coach (45 Tests; coach 3 games; Dally M Medal 1992), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1963-12-04 Nigel Heslop, English rugby union and rugby league wing (10 caps RU; Orrell RUFC, Liverpool St Helens; Oldham RLFC), born in West Hartlepool, England
  • 1964-01-29 John Gallagher, rugby league player
  • 1965-07-01 Gary Schofield, British Rugby League five-eighth (Great Britain 46, England 3 caps), born in Leeds, England
  • 1965-12-02 Shane Flanagan, Australian rugby league coach (Cronulla Sutherland Sharks NRL premiers 2016), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1966-12-29 Martin Offiah MBE, English rugby league winger (33 Tests GB, 5 England; 3rd on all-time try scoring list), born in London, England
  • 1967-03-26 Mark Carroll, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1968-12-07 Mark Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Granville, Australia
  • 1969-10-20 Laurie Daley, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1971-08-10 Paul Newlove, rugby league player
  • 1973-07-27 Gorden Tallis, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • 1973-12-04 Steven Menzies, Australian rugby league lock (13 Tests; NSW 20 games; Manly Sea Eagles), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1974-05-11 Stanley Gene, Papua New Guinean rugby league footballer
  • 1974-05-19 Andrew Johns, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1974-07-16 Wendell Sailor, Australian rugby league and union footballer, born in Brisbane, Australia
  • 1975-05-30 Andrew Farrell, English rugby league and union footballer
  • 1975-09-05 Matt Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Blacktown, Sydney, Australia
  • 1976-02-01 Mat Rogers, Australian rugby league winger (11 Tests, Cronulla Sharks) and rugby union utility back (45 caps; NSW Waratahs), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1976-04-01 Hazem El Masri, Australian rugby league winger (Canterbury Bulldogs; NRL career point scoring record 2,418 points, 317 games; 159 tries, 891/1087 goals @ 81.97%), born in Tripoli, Lebanon
  • 1976-05-28 Glenn Morrison, Rugby League Player
  • 1977-03-24 Darren Lockyer, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1977-09-22 Paul Sculthorpe, English rugby league footballer
  • 1977-11-18 Trent Barrett, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1977-12-28 Shane Elford, Australian rugby league player, born in Penrith, Australia
  • 1978-02-12 Brett Hodgson, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Liverpool, Australia
  • 1979-05-04 Lesley Vainikolo, Tongan born rugby union and rugby league player, born in Nuku Ľalofa, Tonga
  • 1979-09-26 Fuifui Moimoi, New Zealand (Tongan) rugby league footballer, born in Nuku'alofa, Tonga
  • 1979-09-27 Steve Simpson, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1979-12-08 Daniel Fitzhenry, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Macksville, Australia
  • 1980-02-29 Clinton Toopi, New Zealand rugby league centre (22 Tests; Auckland Warriors, Leeds Rhinos), born in Stratford, New Zealand
  • 1980-04-15 Willie Mason, Australian Rugby League Player
  • 1980-10-16 Timana Tahu, Australian Rugby League player
  • 1982-02-10 Iafeta Paleaaesina, New Zealand rugby league footballer, born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1982-09-26 Rob Burrow, English rugby league halfback (England 15 Tests, GB 5 Tests; Super League C'ships 2004, 07-09, 11-12, 15, 17; Leeds Rhinos), born in Pontefract, England
  • 1982-11-24 Sean O'Loughlin, English rugby league footballer
  • 1983-11-01 Jon Wilkin, English rugby league utility (England 10, Great Britain 6 Tests; St. Helens 404 games), born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
  • 1984-04-27 Daniel Holdsworth, Australian Rugby League player, born in Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1985-06-12 Sam Thaiday, Australian professional rugby league player (Brisbane Broncos), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 1985-08-03 Sonny Bill Williams, New Zealand rugby league footballer, born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1986-08-23 Josh Morris, Australian rugby league player for St. George Illawarra Dragons, born in Kiama, Australia
  • 1986-08-23 Brett Morris, Australian rugby league player for St. George Illawarra Dragons, born in Kiama, Australia
  • 1987-01-15 Greg Inglis, Australian rugby league player, born in Kempsey, Australia
  • 1987-04-09 Jarrod Mullen, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Singleton, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1987-05-29 Issac Luke, New Zealand Rugby League hooker (NZ 37 caps), born in Hawera, NZ
  • 1989-01-03 Ben Matulino, New Zealand rugby league forward (23 caps; NZ Warriors, Wests Tigers), born in Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1989-04-03 Israel Folau, Australian Rugby League, Rugby Union, AFL player (dual international), born in Minto, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1990-09-09 Shaun Johnson, New Zealand Rugby League halfback (Auckland Warriors, Cronulla Sharks), born in Auckland, NZ

Deaths in Sport

  • 1915-06-28 Victor Trumper, Australian cricket batsman (48 Tests, top score 214; key figure foundation of rugby league in Australia), dies of Bright's disease at 37
  • 1943-01-08 Albert Goldthorpe, English rugby league five eighth (RL pioneer; Hunslet 713 games), dies at 71
  • 1959-11-24 Dally Messenger, Australian rugby league footballer, dies at 76
  • 1965-01-08 Albert Asher, New Zealand dual-code rugby union and rugby league winger (RU 11 caps; RL Australasia 2 Tests, NZ 1), dies at 85
  • 1980-08-02 Verdun Scott, New Zealand cricket batsman, rugby league utility back (10 Tests; 1 cap), dies at 64
  • 1985-08-09 Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league footballer (b. 1927)
  • 1991-10-28 George Treweeke, Australian Rugby League second rower (7 Tests, South Sydney), dies at 86
  • 1994-10-17 Augustus John "Gus" Risman, rugby League Player, dies at 83
  • 1996-08-20 George Brian Snape, businessman/rugby league entrepreneur, dies at 81
  • 2006-01-03 Steve Rogers, Australian rugby league footballer (b. 1954)
  • 2006-01-03 Steve Rogers, Australian rugby league centre (24 Tests; NSW; Cronulla-Sutherland), dies after swallowing combination of prescription drugs and alcohol at 51
  • 2006-08-15 Rick Bourke, Australian rugby league player
  • 2007-11-19 Mike Gregory, English rugby league footballer, dies from progressive muscular atrophy at 43
  • 2008-03-20 Eric Ashton, English rugby league footballer (b. 1935)
  • 2008-05-09 Jack Gibson, Australian rugby league footballer & coach, dies at 79
  • 2012-11-14 Brian Davies, Australia Rugby League player, dies at 82
  • 2013-04-04 Ian Walsh, Australian rugby league hooker, captain, coach (25 Tests; St. George), dies at 80
  • 2014-05-11 Reg Gasnier, Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame centre and captain (36 Tests; 3 World Cup; St. George), dies at 74
  • 2018-01-20 Graeme Langlands, Australian rugby league fullback, captain and coach (24 Tests; St. George), dies from dementia and Alzheimer's disease at 76
  • 2018-05-02 Cliff Watson, English rugby league footballer (St Helens, Cronulla-Sutherland, national team), dies of cancer at 78
  • 2019-12-20 Frank Foster, English rugby league lock (1 Test GB; Workington Town, Hull Kingston Rovers, Bradford Northern) and coach (Barrow, Whitehaven), dies at 79
  • 2019-12-30 Johnny Ward, English rugby league hooker (4 Tests Great Britain, 3 England; Castleford 262 games), dies at 78
  • 2019-12-31 Basil Watts, English rugby league second rower (5 Tests Great Britain, 1 England; World Cup 1954; York RLFC), dies at 93
  • 2020-02-24 Don Furner, Australian rugby league forward (1 Test) and coach (Australia 15 Tests; Eastern Suburbs, Canberra Raiders), dies at 87
  • 2020-03-27 Frank Myler, English rugby league stand-off (24 caps Great Britain, 1 England; Widnes, St. Helens) and coach (Widnes, Swinton, Oldham), dies at 81