Get Inspired: How to get into Rugby League

Rugby league presents a fast-paced, physically demanding brand of rugby that's highly popular in England, Australia and beyond.

Since splitting from rugby union in 1895, league has gone on to become a game of 13-a-side in which teams have a maximum of six tackles to advance the ball forward. After a team's players are tackled for a sixth time, the ball changes possession.

Like rugby union, the ball can only be passed backwards or sideways (but it can be kicked forwards), and the aim is to score tries at either end of the field.

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Why is it good for you?

Playing Rugby League has many benefits including keeping fit, meeting new people and maybe even progressing to a higher level.

Whatever your level or ability, the community game provides varying degrees of competition and anyone interested in taking up the sport will find it both rewarding and enjoyable.

Whatever your requirements there is a version of the game that will suit you.

Get involved

The Rugby Football League (RFL), which runs the game in the UK, has a section of its website devoted to more information about playing the game. 

Touch rugby league  is a popular introduction to the sport, while the women's game  and Wheelchair RL  is growing.

Use the RFL's club finder  to find the club nearest to you.


Rugby league broke away from rugby union in 1895 over a disagreement about the sport's amateur status and payments for players - many of whom could not afford to miss work to play, without some form of reimbursement.

Teams were reduced from 15 players down to 13 in 1906, by which time the line-out (which still exists in rugby union) had been eliminated along with the ruck, in favour of the simpler "playing the ball" - rolling the ball backwards with one foot to restart play.

The Rugby League World Cup was first held in 1954 and the Super League formed in 1996, which currently features 13 English teams alongside one French outfit.

Are you inspired to try Rugby League? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the game by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired  or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.