Rugby league

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1845, Rugby football rules codified in England

Rugby league football,[3] usually called rugby league,[4] is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field.[5] One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated as a split from the Rugby Football Union in England in 1895 over the issue of payments to players. Its rules were then gradually changed in order to produce a more entertaining game that would appeal to spectators.[6]

Frequently cited as the toughest, most physically demanding of team sports,[7] the objective in rugby league is to carry or kick the ball towards the opposing team's goal line where points are scored by grounding the ball; this is called a try.[5] After scoring a try, the team is allowed the chance to try at goal with a conversion - a kick for further points.[5] The opposing team will attempt to stop the attacking side gaining points by preventing their progress up the field by tackling the player carrying the ball.[5]

The game holds a significant place in the culture and heritage of the areas where it is played. The European Super League and the Australasian National Rugby League are the premier club competitions. Rugby league is played internationally, predominantly by European, Australasian and Pacific countries, and is governed by the Rugby League International Federation. The current World Cup holders are New Zealand.

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