'Headgear to Helmets' film gives unique insight into rugby league history

Rugby league fans can gain a unique insight into the code's history, formation, and inextricable link to Australia's armed conflicts in a new "Headgear to Helmets" documentary.

Featuring interviews with rugby league experts and historians, the documentary also includes chats with family members of some of the game's most important founding players.

The program highlights the contribution of players who played rugby league in its earliest days before leaving to fight for their country in World War I, with some returning decorated heroes and others not returning at all.

From the original breakaway from rugby union in a bid to play as professionals with access to insurance, to the infamous "Rorke's Drift Test" between Great Britain and Australia in 1914 – the final Test for six years due to the war - to the vexed issue of conscription and how it affected the sport, this piece serves as a tribute to the indelible link between rugby league and Australia's involvement in armed conflict.