|Professional and amateurs played side by side in the 1880's but increasingly the Northern and Southern English Rugby Unions were becoming polarised around payment to players. On April 2nd 1895 the Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs decided to form an independent union but this was forbade by the RFU. The clubs decided to go it alone
as the Northern Rugby Union. It was not till 1922 that they adopted the name Rugby League.
In 1907 a private tour left New Zealand for England via Australia and the New South Wales Rugby League was formed. In 1924 the Australian Rugby League as formed.
Papua and New Guinea released a Pre Stamped Envelope in 1984 to celebrate 10 years of League in the country. Mint,
British Lions Cachet and Postmarked
The 1895 separation was celebrated in the UK by the release of the five stamps shown above on the 3rd October 1995.
Benham released a set of 5 silk covers with commemorative postmarks showing
and Dennis Betts.
New Zealand also released four stamps
representing Club, Junior, International and historical Rugby League. The stamps were released as a First Day Cover and a FDC of the
Both countries also issued a
League evolved into the major rugby code in Australia, but remained the poor cousin in the other countries. In the 1990s there was a major upheaval with the formation of "Super league" and the change to professionalism by rugby union.