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The American National Rugby League (sometimes referred to as the AMNRL) is the major rugby league tournament for amateur/semi professional clubs in the United States. Currently there are eleven teams in the league predominantly based on the north-east coast. They compete annually in the AMNRL competition.

The league was established in 1998 to create a top tier rugby league competition in North America. The first season saw only four teams based in the north-eastern states compete. However since then, with continued expansion the league has grown at various stages with teams now going down the east coast of the United States. The 2006 season saw the addition of the Jacksonville Axemen, New Haven Warriors and the (now defunct) Boston Braves. In 2007, the Fairfax Eagles joined the competition. The most recent expansion was for the 2009 season, with the inclusion of the Boston 13s RLFC.

With the establishment of the AMNRL the United States national rugby league team (with the exception of a limited amount of foreign-based players) has now largely consists of players whom currently play in the domestic competition.


Team Stadium City/Area
Aston DSC Bulls Aston Community Field Delaware County, Pennsylvaniamarker
Boston 13s RLFC Boston, Massachusettsmarker
Bucks County Sharks Jack Pearson Stadium Bucks County, Pennsylvaniamarker
Connecticut Wildcatsmarker Andrews Field Norwalk, Connecticutmarker
Fairfax Eagles Eagles Field Falls Church, Virginiamarker
Jacksonville Axemen Hodges Stadiummarker Jacksonville, Floridamarker
New Haven Warriors Edgewood Park New Haven, Connecticutmarker
New York Knights Hudson River Park New York City, New Yorkmarker
Northern Raiders Andrews Field Essex County, New Yorkmarker
Philadelphia Fight A.A. Garthwaite Stadium Conshohocken, Pennsylvaniamarker
Washington D.C. Slayers Raoul Wallenberg Park Washington, D.C.marker

Latest News

  • The New York Knights win the 2009 AMNRL defeating the Jacksonville Axemen in the championship final at "The Castle" in New york.

  • The Boston 13s join the 2009 AMNRL.

  • The American National Rugby League has decided to alter its format used in previous competitions opting to now use a singular league format in comparison to the two conference format.



The first signs of domestic rugby league within the United States came about during 1939 when the Californianmarker Rugby Football Union wrote a letter to the Rugby Football League based in England requesting a move away from rugby union and instead decided to affiliate itself with League. In late-1939, the Rugby Football League began making plans to send a delegate to California to finalise the plans but with the outbreak of the Second World War were unable to do so.

Rugby league then lay somewhat dormant in the decades after the war and although a hastily put together international side toured both Australia, New Zealand and France in the early 1950s this did not change anything at all back in the United States.

Things slowly began to change in North America during the late-1970s and early-1980s when several small amateur domestic competitions began to appear around both the United States and Canada. Originally these competitions were largely made up of ex-pats from the United Kingdom and Oceania but slowly domestic players began to appear both from other sports and rugby union.


American National Rugby League Champions
Season Winner
2009 New York Knights
2008 New Haven Warriors
2007 Connecticut Wildcatsmarker
2006 Connecticut Wildcatsmarker
2005 Glen Mills Bulls
2004 Glen Mills Bulls
2003 Connecticut Wildcatsmarker
2002 New York Knights
2001 Glen Mills Bulls
2000 Glen Mills Bulls
1999 Glen Mills Bulls
1998 Glen Mills Bulls
The league was originally established for the 1998 inaugural season by several individuals in the north-eastern states whom wanted to join together the amateur rugby league competitions that existed as park leagues in the United States.

Since its formation where only four clubs existed and competed in the American National Rugby League, participation has steadily grown and this has allowed for continual expansion seen between 2000 and 2003 where another four teams were added to the AMNRL. At the beginning of the 2006 season another three teams were added to the league being the Boston Braves, New Haven Warriors and the Jacksonville Axemen. The Braves only played one season and did not return in 2007, replaced by the Fairfax Eagles.


Although the 'heartland' of rugby league is the north east coast, the AMNRL is quickly expanding to other areas of the eastern coast, as well as this, efforts are being made to set up a west coast competition or to further introduce west coast teams.

In 2006, a new team joined the AMNRL from Bostonmarker, which played an exhibition match in 2005. That team was not re-admitted for the 2007 season, but the Boston 13s joined the league in the 2009 season. Teams from New Haven, Connecticutmarker and Jacksonville, Floridamarker also joined the 2006 competition. A Chicago-based team is also going through various stages to be included in the AMNRL in the future.

A Florida league is currently going through various stages of development and will be seeking to enter a representative team from that league into the AMNRL in the near future. Florida has hosted rugby league games in the past, the state was the host to 1999 North Pacific Qualification Tournament, where the USA beat both Japan and Canada to meet Lebanon for the right to play in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. In 2001, Florida was also host to the Sunshine State Challenge, where the United States competed against the Huddersfield Giants, Halifax and the Leeds Rhinos; the miniature tournament drew a crowd of 6,700.

In 2005, an exhibition match was played in the western United States, in Phoenix, Arizonamarker, to help promote rugby league outside the heartland and there has been talk of further expanding the conferences to the west to include teams or representative teams from the West Coast Rugby League[173908].

There is a new pro rugby league competition coming in 2010 the AMNRL will still exist to improve the quality of players and will feed NRLUS teams.

Commissioners and presidents

Statistics and awards

League records

Largest victoryJacksonville Axemen 90 - 8 Philadelphia Fight (2006)

Most Valuable Player

At the conclusion of each season the title of Most Valuable Player is awarded to the individual whom accumalates the most points via a voting system that is undertaken after every game. Each official at the conclusion of a regular season fixture awards either three, two and one points for the most deserving players on game day; these points are then added up to determine the MVP. Performance is not only measured by individual feats but also the influence that player has had on the performance of their respective team.
Year Player Club
2006 Jason Gargaram Glen Mills Bulls
2005 Andrew Webster / Erik Hollingsworth Connecticut Wildcatsmarker / Glen Mills Bulls
2004 Marcus Vassilakopoulos Glen Mills Bulls
2003 Danny Bull Connecticut Wildcatsmarker
2002 Shayne Mains Glen Mills Bulls
2001 Dave DiValerio Delaware Valley Mantarays
2000 Ed Woodbridge Glen Mills Bulls
1999 Shayne Mains Glen Mills Bulls
1998 Bill Hansbury Glen Mills Bulls
Every season to date has seen an individual awarded the MVP excluding the 2005 season where both Andrew Webster and Erik Hollingsworth were awarded the Most Valuable player after they finished on equal points.

See also


  1. AMNRL - American National Rugby League
  2. AMNRL - American National Rugby League
  3. AMNRL - American National Rugby League

External links

Official websites

News sites

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