United States Rugby League map


This page was updated 14/3/14

Foundation Year – 1954

International Team – Tomahawks

Highest finish in World Cup – Two wins Emerging Nations World Cup (2000)

Top level domestic competition – American National Rugby League (AMNRL) and United States of America Rugby League (USARL) both run rival rugby league competitions  

History – The United States first flirted with rugby league when the American All Stars toured Australia in 1953. The games had massive media coverage in Australia and drew bumper crowds at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The All Stars failed to live up to the hype and were way out of their depth failing to win a game on tour.

Rugby League started up in again in the late 1980’s. The United States participated in the Tri-Country Rugby League competition. The competition included one team from the United States and three from Canada . In 1987 the United States played their first international against Canada. In that same year the State of Origin series which is usually played in Australia, had a one off game in California. The match saw Australian teams New South Wales and Queensland play each other in an effort to promote Rugby League in the States.

In 1995 the United States participated in the Emerging Nations World Cup. Grouped with Russia, Scotland and the Cook Islands the Tomahawks found the going tough. They went through the tournament without a win. On the positive side the event was a great learning experience for the national team.

In 1998 a domestic competition the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) commenced involving teams along the east coast of the United States. Today ten teams participate in the competition that goes from strength to strength.

In 2002 over 30,000 fans turned out in Moscow to see the United States take on Russia. In a game that was televised across Russia and beamed back home to America, the Bears proved too strong for the Tomahawks coming out convincing winners 54 – 10.

In 2004 after the Tri-Nations series the Kangaroos dropped into the United States on the way home to play a match against the Tomahawks. The game was played on a synthetic surface along the same lines of what is used in the NFL. The game was also modified with the 80 minutes being split over four quarters. The Australian’s were in a state of shock as the Tomahawks came out firing and raced away to a handy lead by the end of the 2nd quarter. Pride was on the line for the Australian’s and they came out a different team in the last two quarters clawing their way back into the game. The Kangaroos saved face against a determined Tomahawks team eventually winning the game 36 – 24.

In 2006 the United States began their campaign to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In the Atlantic qualifying leg the United States easily defeated Japan securing a place in the repechage rounds. In 2007 the Untied States travelled to the United Kingdom to play Samoa. The winner of the game would progress through to the repechage final. It wasn’t to be for the Tomahawks as they were knocked out of the qualifiers 42 – 10 by Samoa. The Tomahawks put in a gutsy display against a Samoan side full of professional players from the NRL and Super League. The Tomahawks headed home with their heads held high knowing they came close to creating World Cup History.

The growth of Rugby League continues in the United States with Russel Crowe promoting a trial game between Leeds Rhinos and South Sydney in January 2008. Played at Jacksonville, over 12000 fans packed the UNF stadium to see Leeds defeat South Sydney in a close encounter. In 2009 the Leeds Rhinos returned to the US this time to play the Salford City Reds. Once again the American public showed their enthusiasm for rugby league with another big crowd on hand to see Leeds win again.

In 2009 the United States have droped one place in rankings to 15th since their 2007 ranking of 14th in world seedings by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).

In late 2009 Jamaica toured to the United States to play for the inaugural Atlantic Cup. In front of over 3500 fans in Jacksonville, Jamaica went into half time ahead 12 – 10. When they went onto the field in the second half they just could not hold onto the lead with the United States clinching the Atlantic Cup defeating Jamaica 37 – 22.

In 2010 the Atlantic Cup returned to Jacksonville. This time round Canada joined the tournament along with previous participants the United States and Jamaica. The Untied States went through undefeated and took out the Atlantic Cup for the 2nd year running.

In 2011, the United States beat out Jamaica and South Africa for a spot in the 2013 World Cup. In the same year, a breakaway competition was formed, with teams such as the Philadelphia Fight and the Jacksonville Axmen joining the new United States of America Rugby League. This split has lessened the impact of the AMNRL on the development scene, but increased knowledge and support in general for the code.

The United States have been placed in Group D in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) along side the Cook Islands and Wales. On October 30th (Wednesday) the United States will open their World Cup campaign at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol in England against the Cook Islands. Then the United States will tackle world cup co-hosts Wales on November 3rd (Sunday) at Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham. Their final group match takes them to the City of Salford Community Stadium in England to take on Scotland in a cross group match on November 7th (Thursday).

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

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


2014 Rugby League Results
Aug 9th Canada 52 v USA 14, Toronto (Colonial Cup)
Jul 19th United States 18 v Samoa 12 , Honolulu

2013 Rugby League Results
Nov 16th 1.00pm Australia 62 v United States 0 (World Cup QF 2)
Nov 7th 8.00pm Scotland 22 v USA 8 (World Cup)
Nov 3rd 2.00pm Wales 16 v USA 24 (World Cup)
Oct 30th 8.00pm Cook Islands 20 v USA 32 (World Cup)
Oct 18th France 18 v United States 22 (RLWC warm-up match)
Sep 28th Canada 22 v United States 30 (Colonial Cup)
Sep 7th Canada 20 v United States 28 (Colonial Cup)
Aug 24th United States 44 v Canada 16 (Colonial Cup)
Jul 6th Canada 36 v United States 20 (Colonial Cup)

2012 Rugby League Results
Sep 22nd United States 36 – Canada 14 (Colonial Cup)
Sep 8th Canada 24 – United States 28 (Colonial Cup)
May 12th United States 20 – Tonga 28 (Ohana Cup)
Mar 17th United States 38 – Ireland A 20 (Donnybrook Cup)

2011 Rugby League Results 
Oct 23rd United States 40 – Jamaica 4 (World Cup Qualifiers Atlantic)
Oct 15th United States 40 – South Africa 4 (World Cup Qualifiers Atlantic)
Sep 18th Canada 18 – United States 16 (Colonial Cup)
Aug 27th United States 18 – Canada 2 (Colonial Cup)
Mar 19th United States 8 – Ireland A 26 (Donnybrook Cup)

2010 Rugby League Results 
Nov 20th Canada 12 – United States 46 (Atlantic Cup)
Nov 16th United States 36 – Jamaica 26 (Atlantic Cup)
Sep 19th United States 20 – Canada 16 (Colonial Cup)

2009 Rugby League Results 
Nov 14th United States 37 – Jamaica 22 (Atlantic Cup)

2007 Rugby League Results 
Nov 9th Samoa 42 – United States 10 (World Cup Qualifier)
Nov 4th Cumbria 70 – United States 0

2006 Rugby League Results 
Oct 28th United States 54 – Japan 18 (World Cup Qualifier)
Feb 4th Italy A 38 – United States 6
Jan 26th United States 40 – Japan 10

2004 Rugby League Results 
Dec 1st Australia 36 – United States 24
May 12th Russia 64 – United States 8
May 10th Ireland 74 – United States 16
Mar 24th United States 41 – Ireland A 10

2003 Rugby League Results 
Jun 27th United States 78 – Japan 6
May 6th Russia 44 – United States 14
Mar 15th United States 20 – Ireland A 16

2002 Rugby League Results 
Oct 6th New Zealand A 74 – United States 14
Sep 13th Russia 54 – United States 10
Sep 9th Tartarstan 30 – United States 24
Jun 1st United States 26 – Japan 10
Mar 16th United States 24 – Ireland A 22

2000 Rugby League Results 
Nov 20th United States 50 – Morocco 10 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Nov 17th Italy 40 – United States 16 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Nov 13th United States 52 – Canada 10 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Mar 18th United States 19 – Ireland A 6
England 110 – United States 0

1999 Rugby League Results 
United States 68 – Canada 0
United States 54 – Japan 0
Lebanon 62 – United States 8

1998 Rugby League Results 
United States 32 – Canada 6

1997 Rugby League Results 
United States 50 – Canada 10

1996 Rugby League Results 
16th Mar Ireland A 26 – United States 6

1995 Rugby League Results 
Oct 20th Russia 28 – United States 26 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 18th Scotland 38 – United States 16 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Oct 16th Cook Islan 64 – United States 8 (Emerging Nations World Cup)
Jun 18th Wales 66 – United States 10
Jun 11th Wales 92 – United States 4
Mar 16th Ireland A 24 – United States 22
United States 44 – Canada 0

1994 Rugby League Results 
Russia 19 – United States 12
United States 22 – Canada 10
United States 22 – Canada 0

1993 Rugby League Results 
United States 32 – Canada 2
United States 54 – Canada 14

1987 Rugby League Results 
Canada 23 – United States 10