Rugby League Ireland map


This page was last updated 11/4/14

Foundation Year – 1995

International Team – Wolfhounds

Highest finish in World Cup – Qualifying Semi-Final (2008), Quarter Final (2000)

Top level domestic competition – Ireland’s domestic rugby league competition has been running since 1997. Ireland currently have 6 teams playing in the Elite League. The competition runs from May through to August. Ireland also run a north and south conference which have 4 teams each. In 2009 histroy was made with the kickoff of a new Northern Ireland 4 team competition.

History – Rugby league in Ireland was started by Irish rugby union players wanting to keep fit in the off season. The Dublin Blues club was formed in 1989 and played against touring British teams. The first big step for Ireland was the appointment of a development officer in 1995. Since 1995 the Ireland domestic competition has grown significantly and now has over 15 teams involved.

Ireland first started playing rugby league at an international level in 1995. Ireland took part in the Emerging Nations World Cup and defeated Morocco and Moldova securing a place in the ENWC Final. In a hard fought game against the Cook Islands, Ireland went down narrowly losing by 4 points.

With the continued development of the game in Ireland the next big step was the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Ireland surprised many by winning all of their pool games against Samoa, Scotland and NZ Maori. In a tough quarter final game Ireland pushed England all the way. Ireland were eventually defeated by England 26 -16.

Ireland were forced to play in qualifiers to book a place in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. They defeated Russia twice in the qualifying rounds. With the luck of the Irish on their side they qualified for the World Cup on for and against after both matches against Lebanon ended in a draw.

In 2008 Ireland were ranked 3rd in European seedings by the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF).

Ireland were grouped with Tonga and Samoa in a tough Pool during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Ireland did not need any luck to become one of the success stories of the competition. Backed to finish last in their group Ireland defied the critics by finishing top of the group and making it into the qualifying semi-final. To get there Ireland produced a major upset by defeating Samoa 34 – 16. Ireland were one step away from making history by becoming the first Irish team to make it to the semi-final of a major international competition. But it wasn’t to be as Ireland went down fighting to Fiji 30 – 14 in the qualifying semi-final.

On back of their 2008 World Cup success, Ireland Rugby League plan to enter a team into the National League 2 as part of the games development in Ireland. Their inclusion might be 5 to 10 years away unless a financial backer can be found earlier. 

In early 2009 Ireland were ranked 7th in World seedings by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF). This is Ireland’s highest ranking to date.

In late 2009 Ireland participated in the European Cup competition along side Lebanon, Wales, Scotland, Serbia and Italy. Ireland didn’t have a good campaign and ony managed a win against Serbia. By finishing 4th Ireland have just secured their place in the 2010 European Nations Cup. The 2010 version will see the winner qualify as the 4th team in the 2011 Four Nations series due to be played in the northern hemisphere.

Ireland go into the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) as the underdogs in their Group. Placed in Group A, Ireland will open their world cup campaign against Fiji at Spotland Stadium, Rochdale, England on October the 28th (Monday). On November the 2nd (Saturday) Ireland will take on world cup hosts England at The Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield in England. Irelands final group match will see the Irish take on Fiji on Irish home soil at Thomond Park Stadium in Limerick on November 9th (Saturday).

For the latest 2013 RLWC match information and results for Ireland visit our 2013RLWC page and click here

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Ireland we would love to hear from you. Please email us at: or join our international rugby league Forums at and let us all know what’s going on in your part of the world.


2014 Rugby League Results
Nov 2nd Wales 14 v Ireland 46, Wrexham (European Championship)
Oct 25th Ireland 4 v Scotland 25, Dublin (European Championship)
Oct 18th Ireland 22 v France 12, Dublin (European Championship)

2013 Rugby League Results
Nov 9th 8.00pm Australia 50 v Ireland 0 (World Cup)
Nov 2nd 2.30pm England 42 v Ireland 0 (World Cup)
Oct 28th 8.00pm Fiji 32 v Ireland 14 (World Cup)

2012 Rugby League Results
Oct 19th Ireland 4 – England Knights 56 (European Cup)
Oct 14th Scotland 18 – Ireland 30 (European Cup)
Jun 16th England Knights 62 – 4 Ireland
Mar 17th United States 38 – Ireland A 20 (Donnybrook Cup)

2011 Rugby League Results
Nov 5th Ireland 16 – France 34 (Test Match)
Oct 22nd Wales 30 – Ireland 6 (Test Match)
Oct 16th Scotland 26 – Ireland 6 (Test Match)
Mar 19th United States 8 – Ireland A 26 (Donnybrook Cup)

2010 Rugby League Results
Oct 24th Ireland 22 – Scotland 42 (European Cup)
Oct 16th Wales 31 – Ireland 30 (European Cup)
9th Oct France 58 – Ireland 24 (European Cup)

2009 Rugby League Results 
Nov 8th Lebanon 40 – Ireland 16 (European Cup Ranking)
Nov 1st Wales 42 – Ireland 12 (European Cup)
Oct 18th Ireland 82 – Serbia 0 (European Cup)

2008 Rugby League Results
Nov 10th Fiji 30 – Ireland 14 (World Cup Qualifying Semi Final)
Nov 5th Ireland 34 – Samoa 16 (World Cup)
Oct 27th Tonga 22 – Ireland 20 (World Cup)

2007 Rugby League Results 
Nov 2nd Ireland 16 – Lebanon 16 (World Cup Qualifier)
Oct 20th Ireland 58 – Russia 18 (World Cup Qualifier)

2006 Rugby League Results
Nov 25th Ireland 18 – Lebanon 18 (World Cup Qualifier)
Oct 22nd Ireland 50 – Russia 12 (World Cup Qualifier)

2005 Rugby League Results 
Oct 30th Wales 31 – Ireland 10
Oct 23rd Ireland 12 – Scotland 6

2004 Rugby League Results 
Nov 7th England A 36 – Ireland 12
Oct 29th Ireland 43 – Scotland 10
Oct 26th Ireland 24 – Scotland 22
Oct 17th Ireland 25 – Wales 12
May 16th Russia 64 – Ireland 6
May 10th Ireland 74 – United States 16

2003 Rugby League Results 
Oct 26th Ireland 24 – Scotland 22
Jan 11th France 26 – Ireland 18

2001 Rugby League Results
Jun 26th France 56 – Ireland 16

2000 Rugby League Results
Nov 11th England 26 – Ireland 16 (World Cup Quarter Final)
Nov 4th Ireland 30 – NZ Maori 16 (World Cup)
Nov 1st Ireland 18 – Scotland 6 (World Cup)
Oct 28th Ireland 30 – Samoa 16 (World Cup)

1999 Rugby League Results 
Oct 31st Ireland 31 – Scotland 10
Oct 15th Ireland 24 – Wales 17

1998 Rugby League Results
Nov 18th Ireland 17 – Scotland 10
Nov 4th France 24 – Ireland 22

1997 Rugby League Results 
May 13th Ireland 30 – France 30

1996 Rugby League Results 
Aug 6th Scotland 26 – Ireland 6

1995 Rugby League Results 
Oct 24th Cook Islands 10 – Ireland 6 (Emerging Nations World Cup Final)
Oct 24th Ireland 42 – Morocco 6 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 16th Ireland 10 – Moldova 6 (Emerging Nations World Cup)