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Rugby League is Australia’s most entertaining and popular sport. 

With a rich history dating back to its creation in 1908, Rugby League telecasts have grown to be the most watched programs on Australian television.

The NRL Telstra Premiership is the closest elite sporting competition in the country and the Holden State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland is Australian sport’s greatest rivalry.

At its heart, Rugby League is a community-based sport played by hundreds of thousands right across Australia, especially in country areas. In addition, there are countless people who give their time volunteering to ensure boys and girls, teenagers and adults can play the sport they love each weekend. 

On these pages, you can find out more about Rugby League from the grassroots through to the elite level – and the role of the Australian Rugby League Commission and National Rugby League in administering the sport.


Australian Rugby League Commission 

Formed in 2012, the ARLC is the governing body for Rugby League in Australia. It sets the overall strategic direction for the game and works to ensure that the administration across all levels of Rugby League can meet the demands of being a modern, professional and well governed sport. It has responsibility for funding the game at all levels and helping the game to grow and foster both in Australia and internationally.  

ARLC Vision, Mission and Values

  • Our Vision is to be the most entertaining, most engaging, most respected sport.
  • Our Mission is to bring people together and enrich their lives.
  • We’re committed to inclusiveness, excellence, courage and teamwork defining every step. These are our core Values.

Roles and responsibilities

The role of the ARLC is to be the single controlling body and administrator of Rugby League in Australia. It has responsibilities for fostering, developing and funding the game from the junior to the elite levels. 

The ARLC also organises the NRL competition, the State of Origin and Australian representative matches and works with international the Rugby League International Federation and other Rugby League bodies to foster Rugby League throughout the world.

Recognising the significance and profile of Rugby League in communities all across Australia, the ARLC also has a commitment to promote the welfare of young people, the Rugby League community and their interests.   


The Australian Rugby League Commission is made up of eight independent Commissioners. They are not officers of the National Rugby League, an NRL Club or a Rugby League State or Territory body.  

Each year Commissioners elect one member to be the ARLC Chairman. 

The ARLC members are

John Grant’s appointment as Chairman of the inaugural Australian Rugby League Commission is in perfect step with a life-long commitment to planning and innovation. Read More
Catherine Harris AO PSM is one of Australia’s most respected business leaders and a woman who has been at the forefront of social change in the workforce. Read More
Ian was Chairman and CEO of Australia’s biggest advertising agency group, George Patterson. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School a director of three other companies. Read More
Wayne Pearce OAM stands as one of the greats of Rugby League’s modern era and a man whose dedication to fitness and health changed the way athletes prepared for the game. Read More
Dr Chris Sarra is an inspirational Australian and former Queenslander of the Year who has gained international recognition for his leadership in indigenous education. Read More
As Chairman of one of Australia’s best known publicly listed companies, CSR Limited, Jeremy Sutcliffe is a leading figure in the country’s business landscape. Read More
Tony McGrath brings more than 30 years of experience in business, particularly in re-shaping companies and providing high-level strategic advice, to the Commission. Read More
Graeme Samuel is a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Economics at Monash University and one of the most respected figures. Read More

National Rugby League

The National Rugby League runs the world’s premier Rugby League competition comprising of 16 teams (15 from Australia and one from New Zealand).

The NRL Telstra Premiership attracts about three million people to its matches each year with more than 100 million viewers on television. The NRL has more Facebook fans than any other sport in the country.

The NRL is also responsible for the Australian Kangaroos (male) and Jillaroos (female) representative teams, the annual three-match Holden State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland, the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines, the under 20s Holden Cup competition, and the Harvey Norman NRL Touch Football affiliation. 

The Holden State of Origin series is Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry and regularly ranks as Australia’s highest rating television program.

The NRL proudly supports the largest and most comprehensive community relations program in Australian sport, known as NRL Community. It provides a platform for Rugby League to drive powerful social change with a particular focus on children and young people. 

Through current and former NRL players, it uses the reach and scope of the NRL to deliver community programs, health and education messages and promote inclusiveness and diversity. 

NRL CEO and Senior Executive

The NRL Chief Executive Officer is appointed by the ARLC and has overall managerial responsibility for Rugby League in Australia. The CEO reports to the ARLC but is not a member or director of the ARLC. 

NRL Senior Management Team

  • Chief Operating Officer: Suzanne Young
  • Head of Football: Todd Greenberg
  • Chief Financial Officer: Peter Brown
  • Head of Club and State Services: Tony Crawford
  • Head of Head of Game  Strategy and Development: Shane Richardson
  • Head of Media: Peter Grimshaw
  • Head of Integrity: Nick Weeks