- Rugby League Ireland
Rugby League Ireland (RLI) is the internationally recognised governing body for the development of Rugby League in Ireland, having secured official recognition from the RLIF in 2000. It is in the process of obtaining recognition within the Irish Sports Council and will take over the running of the International team entirely as a stand alone entity due course.
The seed of modern-day rugby league in Ireland was sown when in
1989the Dublin Blues were formed and founded by Brian Corrigan. They consisted mostly of rugby unionplayers who wanted to stay fit over the summer. The Blues competed against touring teams from Britain and surprised many of the touring sides with the quality of their play, scoring many memorable victories over British amateur opposition. In early 1995the British Rugby Football Leaguedevelopment arm financed the position of a Development Officer for Ireland, providing a massive boost to the development of the game. In the same year Ireland formed its very first competitive team to play against the USA in Washingtonon St. Patrick's Day. Ireland won 24-22.
Competitive matches were established between teams in
Leinsterand Ulster: Schoolboy matches were played between Dublinand Belfastschools, Open Age Clubs competed against each other in the All-Ireland Challenge Cup. Teams included Belfast Wildcats and Bangor Vikings from Ulster. From Leinsterthere were Dublin-based Dublin Blues, North Side Saints, Tallaght Tigers, Churchtown Warriors and Bray-based East Coast Panthers. From Munster the Cork Bulls were formed under the guidance of Ex-Dublin Blues stalwart Peter McNamara. Northside Saints and Cork Bulls had their successes but the long-established Dublin Blues were always pre-eminent and there or thereabouts when it came to the trophy presentations.
In 2006 the Leinster and Munster conferences were abandoned in favour of an all-Ireland league, but conference play was reintroduced for the 2007 season, this time on a North/South basis.
For 2008 two national divisions operate, the Carnegie League and the Emerald Rugby National Conference.
Current teams for 2008 Season
*Dublin City Exiles
*North Dublin Eagles
Treaty City Titans
Emerald Rugby National Conference
*Carlow Crusaders B
Ballinahinch Bulls, Lansdowne Blues and North Dublin Eagles B withdrew from the National Conference*
Rugby league in Ireland
Ireland national rugby league team
* [http://www.rli.ie. Official RLI website]
* [http://www.treatycitytitans.com Treaty City Titans website]
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