Thailand Rugby League map


Note: There are two bodies currently developing the game in Thailand. The Thailand Rugby League and the Thailand Rugby League Association. This page refers to the Thailand Rugby League.

Information on this page was updated – 29/8/2013

Foundation Year – 2011

International Team – Thailand Chang, Thailand Rugby League

Top level domestic competition – Thailand National Rugby League Premiership kicks off Sept 2014

History – TRL Rugby 13 was officially formed at Songkran (April) 2011. A meeting of expat businessmen around a boardroom table is the start of what has grown to become a movement. The plan was to spend 3 years building the necessary resources required to run a domestic league, including Referee, Trainer and Coaching Development inside the Kingdom to ensure the game was sustainable long term. Founder Shannon Crane was well aware of the issues surrounding developing markets and one of the biggest issues was mobilising players and officials to the country to run events. At this point it was decided to bring teachers in, NRL Ref Coaches, NRL Head Trainers and NSW Academy Coaching Directors to deliver the training on the ground to Thais at no cost.

Rugby League is well known to Thai people, the differences between Union and League identified by the Thai terms Rugby Sip Sahm (13) and Rugby Sip Haa (15). The 15 man game has been in the Kingdom since the early 1900’s and until the Armed Forces entered the movement in the late 1970’s there was only 2 Universities and 2 High Schools in the Kingdom playing the game. While there are more schools and Universities playing the game now the bold expansion plans of the TRL have the 15 man game in it’s sights and expect to have more Senior Domestic, Universities and High Schools playing the game of Rugby 13 inside 3 years. The University League will commence in the months prior to the Inaugural National Domestic League and an “AFL Auskick” style assault on schools being undertaken giving kids a backpack, water bottle, sticker sheet, Thai language information sheet and a Mod size football all carrying TRL branding is part of a development plan not seen before in International Rugby League Development.

Rugby League will be played not just in the major cities but in the provinces not used to seeing initiatives such as what the TRL are undertaking. All Universities will be covered over a 5 year rollout and every school in the Kingdom will be exposed to the game inside 6 years. A fulltime Development Officer with Australian Rugby League experienced will be teamed with Thais with Rugby League experience to promote the game right across the Kingdom.

The 6 team Domestic Competition commences in September 2014 with 4 Greater Bangkok sides and 2 Pattaya based sides. Teams from Phuket, Khon Kaen, Buriram, Issan and Chiang Mai will enter the competition over a 4 year expansion program. Internationals against teams such as Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, China, India and the Philippines will be an important part of the games Regional development and will be a pinnacle at the conclusion of the TRL Domestic season. The Grand Final will be held in Bangkok on the second Saturday in December each year. A TRL All Stars side will be selected from Expat players playing in the Domestic League to play a one off game each year.

As Thailand is centrally located between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, Thailand Rugby League would love the opportunity to host representative fixtures such as Combined University or Student Rugby League Internationals. Combined Services (Army, Air Force, Navy, Police) internationals or tournaments.

Touring teams such as BARLA have already expressed an interest in coming to Thailand to play matches against the domestic or representative sides.

Amateur club teams wishing to play post season or pre season matches are welcome to play in Thailand.

If there are any associations or clubs who are interested in the above I can contact Thailand Rugby League on and follow TRL on the Facebook Page ( or their Twitter ( and to see video including TV Commercials, Press Conferences, Playing footage and Promotions head to the YouTube Channel at

The Thailand Rugby League is owned and operated by TRL Rugby 13 National Rugby League (Thailand) Company Ltd, a registered company in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Thailand 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
Jun 1st Thailand Stars 16 vs Latin America 16, Sydney (Thailand Rugby League Association)
Jan 30th Thailand Stars 46 vs Japan 10, Sydney (Thailand Rugby League Association)

2013 Rugby League Results
Oct 21st Philippines 46 – Thailand Stars 10, San Narciso (Asia Cup) (Thailand Rugby League Association)
Oct 12th Thailand 0 v Greece A 90, Bangkok (Thailand Rugby League)

2012 Rugby League Results
Oct 21st Philippines 86 – Thailand 0 (Asia Cup) (Thailand Rugby League Association)