Referee Matt Cecchin at a match between the Penrith Panthers and the Warriors.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
It's not easy being a ref. Everyone's your critic, and you have to run more than 8km each match to keep up with the play.
Indigenous Australians – just on 3% of the population – comprise at least 10%, and generally 12%, of elite footballers.
Where else but on the sports field can an under-educated and even a troubled Aboriginal youth achieve celebrity status and social mobility?
The NRL’s controversial salary cap has clearly played a role in keeping the league so equal.
There is no major sporting competition in the world that has enjoyed such a run without crowning back-to-back champions as the NRL.
The rules favour the few.
England narrowly beat Tonga to reach the rugby league world cup final.
The rugby league world cup final on December 2 is between traditional heavyweights Australia and England. But the real story is the rise of diaspora national sides like Tonga, Fiji and Lebanon.
Sports betting has become a high-profile part of the rugby league’s income and branding.
The NRL is trying to reduce its exposure to the integrity risks posed by spot-fixing.
As the tackle that injured rugby league player Alex McKinnon shows, spinal cord injury can take place in a split-second.
Alex McKinnon’s case marks the first time a player has directly sued rugby league’s national governing body over an on-field injury in Australia.
Are players victims of workplace hazards or willing participants in known dangers?
The 2016 State of Origin rugby league competition is over for another year and the focus has shifted to off-field events with claims for compensation for brain injury.
Referee Jared Maxwell gestures during this year’s Round 5 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The data shows NRL referees get it right most of the time. So why do they still cop criticism?
The Wallabies may be flying high at the World Cup, but the picture for rugby union at home looks reasonably bleak.
Regardless of the World Cup final result, rugby union is dwarfed by the three other major football codes in Australia's competitive football landscape.
Can the Cowboys player Johnathan Thurston shake the Dally M curse to beat the Broncos on Sunday?
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The Cowboys will have to deal with more than just the Dally M "curse" if they're to beat the Broncos in this weekend's all Queensland NRL Grand Final.
No 38 Jarryd Hayne tries to avoid a tackle as he plays for the San Francisco 49ers against the Dallas Cowboys during his third preseason NFL game in the US.
EPA/John G Mabanglo
Three down, just one preseason game to go before Australian Jarryd Hayne will know if he's made it play for the San Francisco 49ers in the competitive US NFL season.
The AFL does best in attracting young women to games and then maintaining their loyalty in later years.
The AFL draws the biggest crowds in the country and its growth has been driven by female fans being drawn to the game and sticking with it as they get older.
Rugby union star Karmichael Hunt has been stood down by his club pending a court appearance on drug supply charges.
There is a tension between views of players’ rights under employment contracts and their responsibilities – both ethically and contractually
The Bulldogs beat the Pathers in the preliminary final - but can the underdogs do it again in this weekend’s NRL Grand Final against the Rabbitohs?
AAP Image/Action Photographics, Grant Trouville
When the final siren sounds at Sydney’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday night either the South Sydney Rabbitohs or Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs will be crowned as 2014 National Rugby League (NRL) Premiers…
Was McKinnon’s spinal injury a freak accident?
AAP Image/Action Photographics, Brett Crockford
After Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon’s neck was broken in a lifting tackle in March, some commentators and parents have questioned whether rugby is just too dangerous for children, amateurs – and even…
The belief that rugby league is a ‘hard sport’ played by ‘hard men’ made by insiders does little to advance the image of the game.
When his grandson was tragically killed while playing rugby league in April this year, former New South Wales and Australian halfback Tommy Raudonikis said: Everyone needs to understand that this was just…
Can on-field adulation translate to off-field trustworthiness?
AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Darren Lockyer knows a thing or two about conversions, having banged hundreds between the posts and over the crossbar during his rugby league career. He retired on a high in 2011, having captained the…
A couple of contentious decisions on Friday night have thrust NRL referees into the spotlight.
AAP Image/Action Photographics/Grant Trouville
Referees in need of coaching for “emotional intelligence”? Controversy over crucial line decisions in major matches? Criticism raining from the heavens? That’s right: it’s finals time in Australian sport…
Interim Australian Rugby League Commission Chief Executive Shane Mattiske (left) shakes the hand of Nine CEO David Gyngell after a five-year broadcasting deal was struck between the NRL, Fox Sports and Nine.
The new broadcasting deal struck this week by the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) represents an outstanding result as well as a lost opportunity. The $1.025 billion that the Nine Network and…