Australian Rugby League Commission

  (Redirected from Australian Rugby League)

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARL), formerly the Australian Rugby Football League known as the Australian Rugby League is an Australian rugby league football competition operator. It was founded in 1986 as the Australian Rugby Football League Limited and succeeded the Australian Rugby Football League Board of Control which had been formed in 1924. Since its inception, the ARL has administered the Australian national team and represented Australia in international rugby league matters. Prior to 1998, the code in Australia had been principally administered by individual state leagues on a domestic basis, and the ARL on a national and international basis.

Australian Rugby League Commission Limited
Australian Rugby League Commission logo.png
SportRugby league
Founded1986 as Australian Rugby Football League Limited, successor to 1924 ARFL Board of Control
AffiliationInternational Rugby League
Affiliation date1998
Regional affiliationAsia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation
Affiliation date2010
HeadquartersRugby League Central
Driver Avenue,
Moore Park, New South Wales
ChairmanPeter V’landys AM (since October 2019)
CEOAndrew Abdo (Acting) (since April 2020)
Men's coachMal Meninga (since December 2015)
Women's coachBrad Donald
Official website


The ARL controls the National Rugby League and National Youth Competition as well as annual representative competitions such as the State of Origin series, the Indigenous All Stars Match, City vs Country Origin and the Affiliated States Championship.


Rugby league started in Australia in the period 1907-08.

The Australian Rugby Football League Board of Control was formed by the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and Queensland Rugby League (QRL) on December 1924 to administer the running of the national team. George Ball was the first secretary of the Board and John La Maro the first chairman. Prior to this time, the international rugby league was organised jointly by the NSWRL and the QRL. It was only after this time that the Australian team began to wear the now-familiar sporting colours of Green and Gold. Since 1924, rugby league bodies in all other states and territories became affiliated to the Board of Control and ARL.

Until 1984 the ARFL Board of Control was effectively run by the NSWRL board, and many Queensland players and administrators throughout this period believed that the NSWRL used this power to the detriment of Queenslanders, especially with respect to national team selection. In 1986 the ARL was incorporated under the name Australian Rugby Football League Limited as a separate entity and Ken Arthurson was the first executive chairman of the new body.

With national expansion of the competition[clarification needed] implemented for the 1995 season the NSWRL passed control of the Winfield Cup competition to the ARL.

Following Kerry Packer's announcement that his Optus Vision company owned both free-to-air and pay television broadcasting rights for the sport in Australia, News Corporation, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, undertook a bold bid to create a rival competition, Super League (Australia). Super League successfully attracted eight of the ARL clubs.[1]

In the 1995 State of Origin series, the ARL forbade the players of those eight clubs from participating in the interstate competition. However, those clubs were allowed to participate in the premiership seasons of 1995 and 1996, while the ARL fought in the courtroom to stop the Super League competition from eventuating. However, Super League conducted a rival competition in 1997.

Both the ARL and Super League competitions ran parallel to each other that year. At the close of the season, despite having the financial backing of Optus, the ARL decided that it could not survive if two competitions were run and undertook moves to approach News Corporation and join the national competition that had been created by Super League. As a consequence of the negotiations that followed, the National Rugby League was formed before the 1998 season from the ARL and Super League competitions.

From 1998-2012, the National Rugby League Partnership, a power-sharing arrangement between News Corporation and the Australian Rugby League (ARL), ran the National Rugby League competition as a consequence of the Super League war. Between the 1998 season and the first few months of the 2012 season the ARL had six out of twelve seats on the NRL Partnership board. In 2012 News Limited exited the partnership on condition that the ARL was restructured with an independent board.

The ARL was renamed as the Australian Rugby League Commission and restructured on 10 February 2012 and took control of the National Rugby League competition.[2]

ARL Premiership, 1995-97Edit

Australian Rugby League
SportRugby league
Inaugural season1995
Replaced byNational Rugby League
Number of teams10
Country  Australia
Broadcast partnerNine Network
C7 Sport

From 1995 to 1997, the ARL directly administered the national club premiership competition. Although they only won one ARL premiership in 1996, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles dominated the competition in its three years under the ARL name, winning each minor premiership (1995-1997), and appearing in all three Grand Finals.

Season Grand Final Information Minor Premiers
Premiers Score Runners-Up
1995   Canterbury-Bankstown 17–4   Manly-Warringah   Manly-Warringah
1996   Manly-Warringah 20–8   St. George   Manly-Warringah
1997   Newcastle Knights 22–16   Manly-Warringah   Manly-Warringah

ARL DevelopmentEdit

ARL Development is a non-profit company that was formed by the ARL to develop the sport from an introductory level to the age of 18 years. In achieving this, ARL Development has developed new modified codes that gradually introduce children to rugby league. This is done by restricting the rules and then gradually releasing these restrictions.

The two introductory modified codes currently in use are mini footy and mod league. On completion of mod league, players make a move to full international rugby league laws.

Organisation structureEdit

The ARL Commission is the peak governing body of rugby league football in Australia.[clarification needed][citation needed] It is headquartered in Sydney at Rugby League Central, Moore Park, New South Wales.

All 16 National Rugby League clubs and the New South Wales Rugby League and the Queensland Rugby League are members of the Commission.[3] This means that the Commission has 18 shareholder members in total.

Primary ObjectsEdit

The primary objects of the ARL are to:

(a) be the single controlling body and administrator of the Game;
(b) foster, develop, extend and provide adequate funding for the Game from the junior to elite levels and generally to act in the best interests of the Game;
(c) liaise with and delegate appropriate functions to governing bodies of the Game in the States and Territories of Australia, including the NSWRL and QRL;
(d) organise and conduct all State of Origin and Australian Representative Games;
(e) organise, conduct and foster the NRL Competition;
(g) liaise with the Rugby League International Federation Limited and organisations controlling the game in other countries in the fostering and control of the game of Rugby League throughout the world;
(h) promote and encourage either directly or indirectly the physical, cultural and intellectual welfare of young people in the community and, in particular, the Rugby League community;
(i) promote and encourage either directly or indirectly sport and recreation, particularly Rugby League football, in the interests of the social welfare of young persons.



The appointment of the original nine commissioners was intensely followed by the media. Placement firm Spencer Stuart shortlisted a list of potential members and the NRL Partnership whittled it down to the current members. Commissioners were required to not have had any link to any rugby league football governing body or organisation for the previous 2 years to ensure their independence.

The inaugural ARL Commissioners were agreed by representatives of the NRL Partnership, the Leagues and the NRL clubs. Future Commissioners are appointed by the Commission itself.[3]

Election of CommissionersEdit

The Commissioners are appointed into different groups and, initially, for differing terms. Each Commissioner must, at a nominated time, resign and seek re-election at an Annual General Meeting.[3]

Commissioners in Group A must stand down before the 2013 Annual General Meeting, where they may re-apply for their position. Group B members must stand down before the 2014 AGM and Group C members must stand down before the 2015 meeting.[3]

Ten members may, with the additional support of both the NSW and Queensland Rugby Leagues, vote to remove a Commissioner.[3]

Fourteen members are required to remove a Commissioner without the support of both the NSW and Queensland Rugby Leagues. Should either of these events occur, the remaining Commissioners would appoint a replacement.

A Commissioner who has been removed from office may not seek re-appointment for a period of three years.[3]

Name Role Group Appointed
Peter V'landys AM Chairman B 2019
Todd Greenberg Chief Executive Officer n/a 2016
Gary Weiss Commissioner C 2016
Tony McGrath Commissioner A 2014
Wayne Pearce OAM Commissioner C 2012
Amanda Laing Commissioner B 2018
Megan Davis Commissioner B 2017

Peter Beattie Commissioner A

Former commissionersEdit

David Gallop was the initial chief executive officer of the restructured ARL Commission. He was previously the CEO of the NRL and his contract extension to become inaugural ARL CEO was a condition placed by News Limited with the ARL.[4] On 5 June 2012 the ARL announced Gallop's departure from the CEO position[5] and he will take a position at the FFA in 2013.[6] David Smith was announced as the new ARL CEO in November 2012, taking charge on 1 February 2013.[7]

Gary Pemberton, a former chairman of Qantas, Billabong and Racing NSW, and one of the seven commissioners appointed to the newly restructured ARL in February 2012, announced in July 2013 that he would retire from his role on 31 October.[8]


  1. ^ P. Dorian Owen; Clayton R. Weatherston (December 2002). "Professionalization of New Zealand Rugby Union: Historical Background, Structural Changes and Competitive Balance" (PDF). Economics Discussion Papers No. 0214. University of Otago. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  2. ^ New contract for Gallop as commission prepares to take the reins, 9 February 2012
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "How the Commission Works". Australian Rugby League Commission. 2012. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  4. ^ Walter, Brad (9 February 2012). "New contract for Gallop as commission prepares to take the reins". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital.
  5. ^ Ricketts, Steve (7 June 2012). "The exit of David Gallop from the Australian Rugby League Commission is a sign of how things are changing in the game". The Courier-Mail. Brisbane: News Queensland.
  6. ^ Cockerill, Michael (21 August 2012). "David Gallop appointed new FFA boss". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Digital.
  7. ^ Walter, Brad (23 November 2012). "Lloyds boss appointed CEO of NRL". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Pemberton quits as ARLC commissioner". 23 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.

External linksEdit