Rugby League Teams

There are currently 16 terrific NRL teams that make up the annual National Rugby League Telstra Premiership competition.

Since the NRL was inaugurated there have been 23 different clubs formed and that have played in the series, but only 11 of these teams have contested the NRL Premiership every year: the Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs, Canberra Raiders, Cronulla Sharks, Melbourne Storm, New Zealand Warriors, Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys, Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and the Sydney Roosters.

Today there are fifteen Australian teams and one New Zealand club that give it everything they have throughout the season in order to end up at the top of the ladder and be crowned the season’s premiers.

As of 2010 only five of the 16 NRL clubs are yet to win a Rugby League Premiership – the Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, New Zealand Warriors, St. George Illawarra Dragons and the Gold Coast Titans – will this year be their year?

Below is a list of the 16 Rugby League teams and clubs that contest the NRL Premiership each season. Find out more about your favourite team and its players by clicking on the club name.

Brisbane Broncos

Founded in 1988, the Brisbane Broncos home ground is Suncorp Stadium and their number of premiership and minor premiership wins has earned them the title of Rugby League’s most successful club of the last 20 years.  They have won five premierships from 1988-2009, as well as their Super League competition win in 1997, and four minor premierships.

Canberra Raiders

The Canberra Raiders first played Rugby League professionally as a team in 1982 and their home ground is Canberra Stadium. The club has won three Rugby League premierships and were in fact the first non-Sydney team to win a premiership in 1989.

Canterbury Bulldogs

The Canterbury Bulldogs had their first season in 1935 and their home ground is ANZ Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, which they share with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The team has in the past been called the Sydney Bulldogs and have seen eight premiership successes and six minor premiership wins from 1938-2009 under three different Rugby League codes – the New South Wales Rugby League, Australian Rugby League and National Rugby League.

Cronulla Sharks

The Cronulla Sharks had their first Rugby League season in 1967 and have their home ground at Toyota Stadium. The Cronulla Sharks are one of only five Rugby League clubs in Australia yet to win a premiership. They were named the minor premiers in 1988 and 1999.

Gold Coast Titans

The NRL’s youngest team, the Gold Coast Titans were formed in 2007. Their home ground is Skilled Park in Robina and they are yet to win a premiership.

Manly Sea Eagles

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles played their first season in 1947 and have their home games at Brookvale Oval. The club has won seven premierships from 1972-2008, the latest win against the Melbourne Storm was a record 40-0 victory. The Sea Eagles also hold the record for the longest existing club not to win the wooden spoon, an impressive 61 seasons.

Melbourne Storm

The Melbourne Storm first entered the NRL competition in 1998 and now have their home games at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The club is the first top-level Rugby League team to be formed in Victoria and have dominated the NRL in recent times, having appeared in the past four consecutive grand final matches winning in 2007 and 2009. The Storm were also named the season’s premiers in 1999 giving them three premierships and three minor premierships, which they won in succession from 2006-2008. Their recent success has seen them be named the NRL Team of the Decade for the 2000’s.

Newcastle Knights

The Newcastle Knights played their first season of Rugby League in 1988 and have their home ground as EngergyAustralia Stadium. The Knights have won two premierships in 1997 and 2001 and ended up with the wooden spoon title in 2005.

New Zealand Warriors

Formed in 1995 the New Zealand Warriors play their home games at Mr Smart Stadium in Auckland. The Warriors have only made one grand final game in 2002, but were defeated and as such are yet to secure a Rugby League premiership.

North Queensland Cowboys

The North Queensland Cowboys were founded in 1995 and have the Dairy Farmers Stadium as their home ground in Townsville. The Cowboys made the premiership match in 2005 but were defeated and are yet to be named the NRL season’s premiers.

Parramatta Eels

The Parramatta Eels had their first season in 1947 and currently play their home games at Parramatta Stadium. The Eels were at the top of their game during the early 1980’s, when they won their only four Rugby League premierships in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1986.

Penrith Panthers

The Penrith Panthers were founded in 1967 and have their home ground at CUA Stadium. The Panthers won their first premiership in 1991 before a 12 year drought that even saw them sit at the bottom of the ladder and be given the wooden spoon title in 2001. In 2003 the club broke their premiership drought and won their second grand final match but again won the wooden spoon in 2007.

South Sydney Rabbitohs

One of the oldest existing Rugby League teams still playing in Australia, the South Sydney Rabbitohs had their first season in 1908. They are one of only two clubs that have existed since the NSWRL (first governing body for the Rugby League in Australia) was founded in 1908. The Rabbitohs play their home games at ANZ Stadium, the home ground they share with the Canterbury Bulldogs. The club enjoyed a golden era winning an unprecedented 20 Rugby League premierships up until 1971, but have not won a Grand Final match since.

St George Illawarra Dragons

The St. George Illawarra Dragons had their first season as a newly merged team in 1999, when the St. George Dragons and the Illawarra Steelers merged to become the first joint venture in the NRL. As the only NRL team to cross cities, the Dragons have two home grounds, one at WIN Stadium in Wollongong and the other at WIN Jubilee Oval at Kogarah. The Dragons were the first merger team to make a grand final match in 1999 when they lost to the Melbourne Storm in their founding year. Since then despite making the finals in all but three seasons, they are yet to appear in a grand final match or win a premiership.

Sydney Roosters

The Sydney Roosters are on par with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for being one of the first founded teams, playing their first season in 1908. They play their home grounds at Sydney Football Stadium and have won 12 Rugby League premierships. The Roosters hold a number of other Rugby League records including the longest winning streak by a club and the biggest scoring grand final margin.

Wests Tigers

The Wests Tigers played their first season of NRL in 2000 after two of Sydney’s Rugby League teams, the Balmain Tigers and the Western Suburbs Magpies, merged. The Tigers play home games at three different venues, Campbelltown Stadium, Leichardt Oval and the Sydney Football Stadium. They won their first and only premiership as a merged team in 2005.