Netherlands Rugby League map


Information on this page was updated – 11/3/2014

Foundation Year – 2003

International Team – Netherlands Rugby League

Highest finish in World Cup – One win, World Cup Qualifying game (2008 RLWC)

Top level domestic competition – Summer season involving 4 rounds plus finals.

History – The Dutch are relatively new pioneers for rugby league within Northwestern Europe. Rugby league has regularly being played since 2003 under the NNRLB and has seen small domestic growth along the way. The first rugby league club match was played between Te Werve Bustards (Den Haag) and touring Essex Eels. After rugby league ceased in 2008 a new board the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond (NRLB) was entrusted to administer and grow the game in the Netherlands in 2009.

The Dutch participated in 1989 Student Rugby League World Cup in England, against Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The first rugby league match in Netherlands was a preparation match for the tournament against the French Army side at the Royal Military Academy in Breda. While in the late 1980’s they faced Toulouse to earn a 20 all draw. Having played their first international against Scotland A in Sassenheim only narrowly losing 18 to 22, introducing the Rotterdam Cup in 2004 with a 24-14 loss to Scotland Students and debut 24 to 14 win against Serbia.

2005 saw the Netherlands build on the previous season with the national team playing four internationals. The Netherlands were defeated by Georgia 34 – 14 in April. They then went on to win their other three internationals against Serbia, Scotland and Germany.

In 2006 Netherlands took part in World Cup qualifiers for the first time. Being grouped with Russia, Georgia and Serbia made the task of getting past the first round of European qualifiers all the more harder. The Netherlands suffered heavy defeats to Russia 40 – 14 and Georgia 57 – 16. As a consolation the Netherlands managed to defeat the other European newcomers Serbia 38 – 26. Netherlands finished 3rd in the Pool and failed to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. The Netherlands capped off 2006 with a win against the Czech Republic 34 -28.

Rotterdam hosted the Nederlandse International Rugby League Nines Festival for visiting European teams between 2004 and 2007.

At present the NRLB are a nonprofit sports association for rugby league with their main goal to get the game exposure and attract more people to the sport. The NRLB have a short summer season (4 rounds + Finals) with the Netherlands 3V Sports Grand Prix 9’s competition for clubs Capelle Spartans, Delft Rugby League, Nootdorp Musketiers and Te Werve Bustards, while they host teams for 13-aside matches including the annual clash with Oxford University Old Boys (in the Kermis Challenge) and varying teams from the UK. Netherlands as national and developmental squads have participated in away tours in tournaments such as the Heidelberg 9’s in Germany and UK based events.

In recent seasons the Dutch have also participated in a Cross Border Challenge with select German clubs, National Selection matches (Select GPN vs Residents) and promotional games (combined squad vs Capelle Spartans). At youth level this year, the Dutch staged a BARLA U17 tour against a Netherlands Tasman U17 select in July at Nootdorp and Delft.

Like most developing rugby league nations there are restrictions that the Dutch board face within early stages of development like funding, sponsorship, support and promotion.

The Dutch ten year plan is to have a fully self-supportive domestic competition running for at least 6 months of the year and to have multiple self-standing Rugby League clubs all over the country. The national squad back on the international stage competing with the best. The Nederlandse Rugby League Bond gained Observer membership status from the Rugby League European Federation in February 2012.

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Netherlands 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.


2015 Rugby League Results
May 2nd Belgium 60 v Netherlands 12, Duivensteyn

2014 Rugby League Results
Jun 28th Belgium 32 v Netherlands 16, Brussels

2013 Rugby League Results
Jun 29th Netherland 6 v Belgium 22
May 4th Germany 28 v Netherlands 22 (Friendly)

2006 Rugby League Results 
Aug 4th Netherlands 34 – Czech Republic 28
Jun 17th Netherlands 38 – Serbia 26 (World Cup Qualifier)
May 26th Georgia 57 – Netherlands 16 (World Cup Qualifier)
Apr 28th Russia 40 – Netherlands 14 (World Cup Qualifier)

2005 Rugby League Results
Aug 7th Netherlands 34 – Germany 28
Aug 3rd Netherlands 17 – Scotland Presidents XIII 10
Jun 18th Netherlands 26 – Serbia 10
Apr 29th Georgia 34 – Netherlands 14

2004 Rugby League Results 
Aug 8th Netherlands 24 – Serbia 14 (Rotterdam Cup)
Aug 5th Scotland Students 24 – Netherlands 14 (Rotterdam Cup)

2003 Rugby League Results 
Jul 9th Scotland A 22 – Netherlands 18