Rugby Football League Championship

Rugby Football League Championship

Rugby Football League Championship

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Not to be confused with the Rugby League National Leagues, currently known as the Rugby League Championship (or Co-operative Championship due to sponsorship by The Co-operative Group).
The Rugby Football League Championship was the major professional competition organised by the Rugby Football League in Great Britain. Since 1996 it has been superseded by the Super League and the Rugby League National Leagues. Winning Super League is still regarded as winning the championship, hence for completeness this article includes championships from the Super League era.


The first season of rugby league (1895–96) saw all the breakaway clubs play in a single league competition. The addition of new teams and the problems of travelling led to the league being split in two for the following season; into the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League. This arrangement lasted until the 1901-02, when the top clubs from each league resigned and formed a single new competition. The following season the remaining clubs in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were re-organised to form a second division.

In 1905-06 the two divisions were re-combined into a single competition. Clubs played all the teams in their own county on a home-and-away basis, results counting towards the re-formed Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues. They also organised inter-county fixtures on an individual basis; all results were collated into a single table for the Championship. In order to even up the...
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