Saturday 26th October 2013 may mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Football Association at the Freemason’s Tavern in London, but it is also the opening day of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The sport of rugby league was effectively born on 29 August 1895 when representatives of twenty-two clubs met at the George Hotel, Huddersfield and formed the Northern Rugby Football Union. The clubs, mostly from Yorkshire and Lancashire, wanted to have the option of compensating players for taking time off work to play in Saturday matches. “Broken time” payments were outlawed by the then Rugby Football Union.
The Rugby League World Cup dates back to an inaugural tournament in France in 1954 – predating its Rugby Union counterpart by some 33 years.