Rugby League Championship


Rugby League Championship

The Rugby League Championship was the major professional competition organised by the Rugby Football League in Great Britain. Since 1996 it has been superseded by the Super League and the Rugby League National Leagues. Winning Super League is still regarded as winning the championship, hence for completeness this article includes championships from the Super League era.

History

The first season of rugby league (1895-96) saw all the breakaway clubs play in a single league competition. The addition of new teams and the problems of travelling led to the league being split in two for the following season; into the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League. This arrangement lasted until the 1901-02, when the top clubs from each league resigned and formed a single new competition. The following season the remaining clubs in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were re-organised to form a second division.

In 1905-06 the two divisions were re-combined into a single competition. Clubs played all the teams in their own county on a home-and-away basis, results counting towards the re-formed Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues. They also organised inter-county fixtures on an individual basis; all results were collated into a single table for the Championship. In order to even up the competition a top-four play-off series was used to determine the Championship.

Apart from the interventions of the world wars, this system was retained until 1962-63, when the league briefly returned to a two divisional system. This lasted only two years, and in 1964-65 they went back to one large division subdivided into county leagues, but the play-off were expanded to the top 16 teams.

In 1973-74 they again went back to two divisions. The play-off and the Yorkshire and Lancashire League were abandoned, though a new play-off type competition, the Premiership, was introduced.

In 1996 the championship was replaced by the Super League. The remaining clubs later went on to form the Rugby League National Leagues.

Championship winners

"For completeness, this table includes championships from the Super League era."

SeasonWinners
1895-96Manningham
1896-1901 "No competition"
1901-02 Broughton Rangers
1902-03 Halifax
1903-04 Bradford (PA) 1
1904-05 Oldham
1905-06 Leigh
1906-07 Halifax 1
1907-08 Hunslet 1
1908-09 1
1909-10 Oldham 1
1910-11 Oldham 1
1911-12 Huddersfield 1
1912-13 Huddersfield 1
1913-14 Salford 1
1914-15 Huddersfield 1
1915-19 "No competition due to World War I"
1919-20 1
1920-21 1
1921-22 1
1922-23 Hull Kingston Rovers 1
1923-24 Batley 1
1924-25 Hull Kingston Rovers 1
1925-26 1
1926-27 Swinton 1
1927-28 Swinton 1
1928-29 Huddersfield 1
1929-30 Huddersfield 1
1930-31 Swinton 1
1931-32 1
1932-33 Salford 1
1933-34 1
1934-35 Swinton 1
1935-36 1
1936-37 Salford 1
1937-38 Hunslet 1
1938-39 Salford 1
1939-45 "No competition due to World War 2"
1945-46 1
1946-47 1
1947-48 Warrington 1
1948-49 Huddersfield 1
1949-50 1
1950-51 Workington Town 1
1951-52 1
1952-53 1
1953-54 Warrington 1
1954-55 Warrington 1
1955-56 1
1956-57 Oldham1
1957-58 1
1958-59 1
1959-60 1
1960-61 1
1961-62 Huddersfield 1
1962-63 Swinton
1963-64 Swinton
1964-65 Halifax 1
1965-66 1
1966-67 1
1967-68 1
1968-69 1
1969-70 1
1970-71 1
1971-72 1
1972-73 Dewsbury 1
1973-74 Salford
1974-75
1975-76 Salford
1976-77 Featherstone Rovers
1977-78
1978-79 Hull Kingston Rovers
1979-80
1980-81
1981-82 Leigh
1982-83
1983-84 Hull Kingston Rovers
1984-85 Hull Kingston Rovers
1985-86 Halifax
1986-87
1987-88
1988-89
1989-90
1990-91
1991-92
1992-93
1993-94
1994-95
1995-96
1996
1997
1998 1
1999 1
2000 1
2001 1
2002 1
2003 1
2004 1
2005 1
2006 1
2007 1
2008 1

Footnote

# Denotes a play-off system was used to determine the championship.

No. of Championships

:18 - Wigan:12 - St Helens:7 - Huddersfield:6 - Swinton, Salford, Hull, Bradford, Leeds:5 - Hull KR:4 - Halifax, Oldham:3 - Widnes, Warrington:2 - Wakefield, Leigh, Hunslet:1 - Manningham, Broughton, Bradford(PA), Batley, Workington, Dewsbury, Featherstone

:Wigan are the only club to have won the Championship more than 2 seasons consecutively.:Wigan won the Championship an unprecedented 7 seasons in succession from 1989/90 to 1995/96.

ee also

* Rugby League Championship Second Division
* Rugby League Championship Third Division
* Super League
* Rugby League National Leagues


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