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About Us

Rugby League in Australia

Rugby League is Australia’s most entertaining and popular sport.

With a rich history dating back to its creation in 1908, Rugby League telecasts have grown to be the most watched programs on Australian television.

The NRL Telstra Premiership is the closest elite sporting competition in the country and the State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland is Australian sport’s greatest rivalry.

At its heart, Rugby League is a community-based sport played by hundreds of thousands right across Australia, especially in country areas. In addition, there are countless people who give their time volunteering to ensure boys and girls, teenagers and adults can play the sport they love each weekend.

On these pages, you can find out more about Rugby League from the grassroots through to the elite level – and the role of the Australian Rugby League Commission and National Rugby League in administering the sport.

How Rugby League is governed

Australian Rugby League Commission

Formed in 2012, the ARLC is the governing body for Rugby League in Australia. It sets the overall strategic direction for the game and works to ensure that the administration across all levels of Rugby League can meet the demands of being a modern, professional and well governed sport. It has responsibility for funding the game at all levels and helping the game to grow and foster both in Australia and internationally.

ARLC Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision is to be the most entertaining, most engaging, most respected sport.
Our Mission is to bring people together and enrich their lives. As an organisation we are driven by our beliefs that state:

  • We are Inclusive
  • We are Positive
  • We are United
  • We are Disciplined

These are our core Values.

We are Inclusive

We are driven by: engaging and empowering everyone to feel welcome in our game; reaching out to new participants and supporters; promoting equality of opportunity in all its forms; respecting and celebrating diversity in culture, gender, sexuality and social background.

We are Positive

We are driven by: the ability to see opportunities in the face of adversity; the willingness to stand up for our beliefs and empowering others to do the same; the commitment to stand up and be recognised as a brand ambassador; the tenacity to do something despite how hard it is or how long it takes to achieve.

We are United

We are driven by: recognising and respecting our differences in the pursuit of achieving a common goal; putting the game ahead of individual needs and personal agenda; be a source of motivation and support to those around me; commitment to a culture of respect, honesty, and trust.

We are Disciplined

We are driven to: say what we are going to do and do what we say; have the strength to make the right decisions, placing facts ahead of emotion; take responsibility for your own actions and the impact they have on others and the wider game; champion processes, procedures, and the governing principles of the game.

Roles and responsibilities

The role of the ARLC is to be the single controlling body and administrator of Rugby League in Australia. It has responsibilities for fostering, developing and funding the game from the junior to the elite levels.

The ARLC also organises the pan66.competition, the State of Origin and Australian representative matches and works with international the Rugby League International Federation and other Rugby League bodies to foster Rugby League throughout the world.

Recognising the significance and profile of Rugby League in communities all across Australia, the ARLC also has a commitment to promote the welfare of young people, the Rugby League community and their interests.


The Australian Rugby League Commission is made up of eight independent Commissioners. They are not officers of the National Rugby League, an NRL Club or a Rugby League State or Territory body.

Each year Commissioners elect one member to be the ARLC Chairman.

ARLC members

National Rugby League

The National Rugby League runs the world’s premier Rugby League competition comprising of 17 teams (16 from Australia and one from New Zealand).

The NRL Telstra Premiership attracts about three million people to its matches each year with more than 100 million viewers on television. The NRL has more Facebook fans than any other sport in the country.

The NRL is also responsible for the Australian Kangaroos (male) and Jillaroos (female) representative teams, the annual three-match State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland, the NRL Nines, and the NRL Touch Football affiliation.

The State of Origin series is Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry and regularly ranks as Australia’s highest rating television program.

The NRL proudly supports the largest and most comprehensive community relations program in Australian sport, known as It provides a platform for Rugby League to drive powerful social change with a particular focus on children and young people.

Through current and former NRL players, it uses the reach and scope of the NRL to deliver community programs, health and education messages and promote inclusiveness and diversity.

NRL CEO and Executive Team

The NRL Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the ARLC and has overall managerial responsibility for Rugby League in Australia. The CEO reports to the ARLC but is not a member or director of the ARLC.

NRL Executive Team

  • Andrew Abdo - Chief Executive Officer
  • Graham Annesley - Executive General Manager - Elite Football
  • Tain Drinkwater - Executive General Manager - Performance & Pathways
  • Jason King - Head of Integrity
  • Shaun McMartin – Executive General Manager - Finance
  • John Wilson - Acting Executive General Manager - Participation and Community
  • Misha Zelinsky – Executive General Manager – Corporate Affairs
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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