NRL WA Celebrates 75 Years

In 1947 in Western Australia the seeds were being sown for the birth of a rugby league competition in this state. Many people were seeing Rugby League as a brand new and exciting brand of sport and confidence was growing.

And in 1948, four locations hosted historic meetings. The Park Hotel, Mends Street Hall, Harvey Field Clubrooms & Langley Park. From these meetings the original four clubs of the WARFL were formed, and two of which still stand to this day….

Fremantle, South Perth, Cottesloe and Perth.

Its hard not to be romantic about sport sometimes, but after some serious scrambling around for the first fixture, which included the creation of goal posts on the last few days leading into the match, the first competition game was played on the 17th of April, 1948 at 12:15pm. It was played between the Perth and Fremantle Clubs, with Perth taking the win 25-17. Rugby League was the big winner and the rest is history.

We fast forward 75 years into the future and many clubs have come and gone over the years, with popularity sky rocketing with the introduction of the Western Reds in 1995 into the national ARL Competition. Although no longer a presence in the NRL, the game in Perth continues to grow and the talent continues to shine.

With players such as Bryson and Bronx Goodwin, Corey Paterson, Daniel Holdsworth & Lee Te Maari, there has been lots of WA home grown talent who have made it in the NRL, and several of their forefathers who achieved similar ARL honours through the 50’s to 80’s.

Western Australia has also in more recent times had Jordan Pereira, Waqa Blake, Curtis Rona, Royce Hunt and Jackson Topine continue to fly the flag proudly for the black and yellow. And with the birth of the NRL W, pioneers like Anneka Stephens, Kennedy Cherrington and up and comer Destiny Brill can trace their roots back to the Western State.

We at NRL WA are proud of the heritage, the people and the players responsible for contributing to this rich history, and in their honour, we have released the special attached “75th Anniversary Year” logo in commemoration of the game’s great local achievement.

We would like to acknowledge hard working NRL WA identity Andrew Kelly and Lucy Bean from NRL Headquarters in Sydney for collaborating to create this fantastic design. Furthermore, we take this opportunity to salute the amazing historical work done by WARL Life Member Rod Fielding who continues to be a guiding light in remembering and recording the wonderful and at times surprising history of Rugby League in our great state.

It is our intention to use this “75” logo extensively through the upcoming year to celebrate this significant milestone.

We will be using it on all representative kits & applicable off field apparel, and we encourage all clubs & associations to also include it proudly on your playing gear and elsewhere. Please note that as always NRL WA will have to approve all usage of this logo in advance.

We will be discussing this topic in depth at our first President’s Meetings of ’22 so as to explore how we can all leverage this opportunity to generate media attention and additional public, government and corporate interest in our sport.

We are also hopeful of weaving it into share of voice in & around the massive State of Origin 2 clash in Perth on June 26.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to everyone involved in our WA Rugby League community and we looking forward to a truly memorable 75th year.

It really is the Greatest Game Of All.

Best regards, John & all the NRL WA Team.