Not to be confused with the Rugby League National Leagues, currently known as the Rugby League Championship (or Co-operative Championship due to sponsorship by The Co-operative Group).

The Rugby Football League Championship was the major professional competition organised by the Rugby Football League in Great Britain. In 1996 it was superseded by the Super League and the Rugby League National Leagues. Winning Super League is still regarded as winning the championship, hence for completeness this article includes championships from the Super League era.


The first season of rugby league (1895–96) saw all the breakaway clubs play in a single league competition. The addition of new teams and the problems of travelling led to the league being split in two for the following season; into the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League. This arrangement lasted until the 1901-02, when the top clubs from each league resigned and formed a single new competition. The following season the remaining clubs in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues were re-organised to form a second division.

In 1905-06 the two divisions were re-combined into a single competition. Clubs played all the teams in their own county on a home-and-away basis, results counting towards the re-formed Yorkshire and Lancashire Leagues. They also organised inter-county fixtures on an individual basis; all results were collated into a single table for the Championship. In order to even up the competition a top-four play-off series was used to determine the Championship.

Apart from the interventions of the world wars, this system was retained until 1962-63, when the league briefly returned to a two divisional system. This lasted only two years, and in 1964-65 they went back to one large division subdivided into county leagues, but the play-off were expanded to the top 16 teams.

In 1973-74 they again went back to two divisions. The play-off and the Yorkshire and Lancashire League were abandoned, though a new play-off type competition, the Premiership, was introduced.

In 1996 the championship was replaced by the Super League. The remaining clubs later went on to form the Rugby League National Leagues.

Championship winners

Season Champions [1] Titles Decided by Source
1896–01Separate county leaguesN/AN/A
1901–02Broughton Rangers1League
1902–03Faxcolours Halifax1League
1903–04Bradford FC1League (play-off)
1904–05Oldhamcolours Oldham1League
1905–06Leigh colours Leigh1League
1906–07Faxcolours Halifax2Play-off
1907–08Hunsletcolours Hunslet1Play-off
1908–09Wigancolours Wigan1Play-off
1909–10Oldhamcolours Oldham2Play-off
1910–11Oldhamcolours Oldham3Play-off
1911–12Giantscolours Huddersfield1Play-off
1912–13Giantscolours Huddersfield2Play-off
1913–14Redscolours Salford1Play-off
1914–15Giantscolours Huddersfield3Play-off
1915–19No competition due to World War IN/AN/A
1919–20Hullcolours Hull1Play-off
1920–21Hullcolours Hull2Play-off
1921–22Wigancolours Wigan2Play-off
1922–2316px Hull Kingston Rovers1Play-off
1923–24Batley colours Batley1Play-off
1924–2516px Hull Kingston Rovers2Play-off
1925–26Wigancolours Wigan3Play-off
1926–2716px Swinton1Play-off
1927–2816px Swinton2Play-off
1928–29Giantscolours Huddersfield4Play-off
1929–30Giantscolours Huddersfield5Play-off
1930–3116px Swinton3Play-off
1931–32Saintscolours St Helens1Play-off
1932–33Redscolours Salford2Play-off
1933–34Wigancolours Wigan4Play-off
1934–3516px Swinton4Play-off
1935–36Hullcolours Hull3Play-off
1936–37Redscolours Salford3Play-off
1937–38Hunsletcolours Hunslet2Play-off
1938–39Redscolours Salford4Play-off
1939–45War Emergency League during World War IIN/AN/A
1945–46Wigancolours Wigan5Play-off
1946–47Wigancolours Wigan6Play-off
1947–48Wolvescolours Warrington1Play-off
1948–49Giantscolours Huddersfield6Play-off
1949–50Wigancolours Wigan7Play-off
1950–51Workingtoncolours Workington Town1Play-off
1951–52Wigancolours Wigan8Play-off
1952–53Saintscolours St Helens2Play-off
1953–54Wolvescolours Warrington2Play-off
1954–55Wolvescolours Warrington3Play-off
1955–56Hullcolours Hull4Play-off
1956–57Oldhamcolours Oldham4Play-off
1957–58Hullcolours Hull5Play-off
1958–59Saintscolours St Helens3Play-off
1959–60Wigancolours Wigan9Play-off
1960–61Rhinoscolours Leeds1Play-off
1961–62Giantscolours Huddersfield7Play-off
1962–6316px Swinton5League
1963–6416px Swinton6League
1964–65Faxcolours Halifax3Play-off
1965–66Saintscolours St Helens4Play-off
1966–67Wcatscolours Wakefield Trinity1Play-off
1967–68Wcatscolours Wakefield Trinity2Play-off
1968–69Rhinoscolours Leeds2Play-off
1969–70Saintscolours St Helens5Play-off
1970–71Saintscolours St Helens6Play-off
1971–72Rhinoscolours Leeds3Play-off
1972–73Ramscolours Dewsbury1Play-off
1973–74Redscolours Salford5League
1974–75Saintscolours St Helens7League
1975–76Redscolours Salford6League
1976–77Fevcolours Featherstone Rovers1League
1977–78Widnes colours Widnes1League
1978–7916px Hull Kingston Rovers3League
1979–80Bullscolours Bradford Northern1League
1980–81Bullscolours Bradford Northern2League
1981–82Leigh colours Leigh2League
1982–83Hullcolours Hull6League
1983–8416px Hull Kingston Rovers4League
1984–8516px Hull Kingston Rovers5League
1985–86Faxcolours Halifax4League
1986–87Wigancolours Wigan10League
1987–88Widnes colours Widnes2League
1988–89Widnes colours Widnes3League
1989–90Wigancolours Wigan11League
1990–91Wigancolours Wigan12League
1991–92Wigancolours Wigan13League
1992–93Wigancolours Wigan14League
1993–94Wigancolours Wigan15League
1994–95Wigancolours Wigan16League
1995–96Wigancolours Wigan17League
1996Saintscolours St Helens8League
1997Bullscolours Bradford Bulls3League
1998Wigancolours Wigan18Play-off
1999Saintscolours St. Helens9Play-off
2000Saintscolours St. Helens10Play-off
2001Bullscolours Bradford Bulls4Play-off
2002Saintscolours St Helens11Play-off
2003Bullscolours Bradford Bulls5Play-off
2004Rhinoscolours Leeds4Play-off
2005Bullscolours Bradford Bulls6Play-off
2006Saintscolours St Helens12Play-off
2007Rhinoscolours Leeds5Play-off
2008Rhinoscolours Leeds6Play-off
2009Rhinoscolours Leeds7Play-off
2010Wigancolours Wigan19Play-off
2011Rhinoscolours Leeds8Play-off
  • This table includes championships from the Super League era.

Note Bold donates club winning Challenge Cup in the same season; thus completing the Championship and Challenge Cup 'Double'.

Rugby Football League Championship and Super League success

As of the 2012 season, three of the fourteen clubs participating in the Super League have never won the Rugby Football League Championship or Super League, they are; Castleford Tigers, Catalans Dragons, London Broncos.

As of the 2012 season, twelve clubs not currently participating in the Super League have won the Rugby Football League Championship.

The five, of the twelve, clubs with pre-World War II (WWII) Rugby Football League Championship wins are; Batley (1), Bradford FC (now the Association football club Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C.) (1), Broughton Rangers (now defunct) (1), Hunslet (2), Manningham (now the Association football club Bradford City) (1).

The four, of the twelve, clubs with both Pre- and Post-WWII Rugby Football League Championship wins are; Halifax (4, i.e. 2 pre- & 2 post-WWII), Leigh (2, i.e. 1 pre- & 1 post-WWII), Oldham (4, i.e. 3 pre- & 1 post-WWII), Swinton (6, i.e. 4 pre- & 2 post-WWII).

The three, of the twelve, clubs with Post-WWII Rugby Football League Championship wins are; Dewsbury (1), Featherstone Rovers (1), Workington Town (1).

Of these twelve former Rugby Football League Championship winning clubs, only four have ever participated in the Super League, they are; Halifax, Leigh, Oldham, Workington Town, all of whom have had Post-WWII wins.

Of these twelve former Rugby Football League Championship winning clubs, none have been granted Super League 2012 licences, and are therefore precluded from the Super League for the foreseeable future.

Club Wins Winning Years
1Wigan191908/09, 1921/22, 1925/26, 1933/34, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1949/50, 1951/52, 1959/60, 1986/87, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96, 1998, 2010
2St. Helens12 1931/32, 1952/53, 1958/59, 1965/66, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1974/75, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006
3Leeds81960/61, 1968/69, 1971/72, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
4Huddersfield71911/12, 1912/13, 1914/15, 1928/29, 1929/30, 1948/49, 1961/62
5Swinton61926/27, 1927/28, 1930/31, 1934/35, 1962/63, 1963/64
6Salford61913/14, 1932/33, 1936/37, 1938/39, 1973/74, 1975/76
7Hull61919/20, 1920/21, 1935/36, 1955/56, 1957/58, 1982/83
8Bradford Northern/Bulls61979/80, 1980/81, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005
9Hull KR51922/23, 1924/25, 1978/79, 1983/84, 1984/85
10Oldham41904/05, 1909/10, 1910/11, 1956/57
11Halifax41902/03, 1906/07, 1964/65, 1985/86
12Warrington31947/48, 1953/54, 1954/55
13Widnes31977/78, 1987/88, 1988/89
14Hunslet21907/08, 1937/38
15Wakefield Trinity21966/67, 1967/68
16Leigh21905/06, 1981/82
17Broughton Rangers11901/02
19Bradford FC11903/04
21Workington Town11950/51
23Featherstone Rovers11976/77

Note. In the event of a tie, the team that won x amount of titles first is given preference.

Rugby League 'Double'

In Rugby League, the term 'the Double' is referring to the achievement of a club that wins the Championship and Challenge Cup in the same season. To date, this has been achieved by nine different clubs.

Club Wins Winning Years
1Wigan6 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95
2St Helens3 1965/66, 1996, 2006
3Huddersfield2 1912/13, 1914/15
4Broughton Rangers1 1901/02
5Halifax1 1902/03
6Hunslet1 1907/08
7Swinton1 1927/28
8Warrington1 1953/54
9Bradford Bulls1 2003

Note. In the event of a tie, the team that won x amount of 'Doubles' first is given preference.

See also


  1. Top Flight Champions (13 July 2009).

Rugby League in Great Britain and Ireland
National Teams

Template:Rugby Football League seasonsca:Campionat britànic de rugbi a 13 fr:Rugby Football League Championship

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Rugby Football League Championship, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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