- Rugby league in Victoria
Rugby leaguein Victoria, Australia, dates back to 1889 but disappeared until the 1930s. It took until 1998 for the first local team in national competition to be founded, the Melbourne Storm.
Melbourne sent its first
rugby footballteam to play in New South Walesin 1889, but the game more or less disappeared until the 1930s. In 1924 Victoria played against the visiting British Lionson the first game of their tour (losing 45-13 at Fitzroy Cricket Ground). The odd match was taken to Melbourne over the following decades - the most notorious being in 1979 when Manly and Wests initiated their 'fibros v silvertails' battles.
NSWRLhad let Melbourne host a number of premiership games during the early 1990s. In 1991 the St Kilda VFL club made an unsuccessful attempt to have NSWRL games played on their Moorabbin Ground, later the Sydney Tigersbriefly played games at Princess Park in 1994. However, attendances for Test matches and State of Origin games in the 1990s had been strong. The 1990 State of Originplayed in Olympic Park, attracted a crowd of 25,000. Another 160,000 was attracted in three matches at the MCG (1994, 1995 and 1997). Whether a Melbourne rugby league club could be a success on a weekly basis against Australian Rules Footballwas another question.
Moves towards a team
In August 1991 the NSWRL began to express interest for its 1993 competition, and made a request to the Victorian Rugby League to put forward a proposal. The local League showed significant hesitation, indicating that the game had little support to build upon.However during 1993 ARL Chairman Ken Arthurson made it clear that he remained positive about Melbourne and thought it had much to offer. Former Melbourne CEO Chris Johns said; "John and I had been with the Broncos from day one and we had learnt first-hand how the club had progressed in 10 years to become a 'super club'. Melbourne had three times the population of Brisbane and the people down there just love their sport".
Plans to enter Melbourne gained momentum in November 1994 when both the ARL and the organisers of the (then called) News Ltd rebel competition both began initiatives to fast track their own teams in the Victorian capital.In 1996, the Australian Rugby League (ARL) decided to establish a Melbourne based team due to the high attendances at recent State of Origin matches. But in May 1997, Super League boss John Ribot pushed for a Melbourne based club in the Super League competition, which was the rival against the ARL competition. Former Brisbane Broncos centre Chris Johns became the CEO of the club and Ribot stepped down from head of the Super League to set up the club. In September 1997, Melbourne announced that Chris Anderson would be their foundation coach, and then the Super League announced that their new team will be named the
Melbourne Storm. National Rugby League
National Rugby League(NRL) is Australia's top level competition for the sport of rugby league. Victorian Rugby League
The Victorian Rugby League governs the game in Australia. The three main competitions are the Melbourne Rugby League, the Central Highlands Rugby League and the Goulburn Murray Rugby League. Some Melbourne Rugby League games have been played pre-match before senior Storm games. These have since been replaced by the
National Youth Competition. The most recent premiers have been the Doveton Steelers. http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-2121-0-43308-0&sID=61149]
=Players in the NRL=
Among the Melbourne-born players to play in the NRL have included:
Jake Webster: leagueicon|Melbourne|size=16 Melbourne Storm, leagueicon|Gold Coast Titans|size=16 Gold Coast Titans. Timana Tahu: leagueicon|Newcastle|size=16 Newcastle Knights, leagueicon|Parramatta|size=16 Parramatta Eels. Craig Polla-Mounter: leagueicon|Bulldogs|size=16 Canterbury.
Rugby league in Australia
Sport in Victoria
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