Early Rugby in Western Australia

Between 1882-1884 Rugby was played in an ad hoc way between three clubs.

A Brief Moment in Time

A Brief History of the Early Days of Rugby League in WA.

The Early Beginnings

Rugby League from some accounts was first played in Western Australia in 1926.

The 1946 “Indomitables”

The 1946 Great Britain side “Indomitables” visited WA in April 1946 .... rugby league was 2 years off being launched in Western Australia.

Founding Fathers

These brave and pioneering men took the initial steps to establish the game of Rugby League in WA.

1947 - The First Meetings

It was after the 1947 Rugby Union Grand Final that Bob Chester and Jim Carroll talked about taking an exhibition game to Bunbury.

Foundation Clubs

Five first grade clubs involved in 1948 -Fremantle, South Perth, Cottesloe .Perth and Palmyra(who dropped out after 2 rounds) . By 1949 two more clubs had entered Eastern Suburbs and Applecross.


Fremantle was originally a Rugby Union Club and in 1948 after a series of meetings moved to Rugby League.

South Perth

In January 1948 a special meeting of the South Perth Rugby Club was held at the Mends Street Hall on Mill Point Road.


Initial Meetings were held at Alex Mathesons house and he described the early days at the Cottesloe club as 'tough'.


Perth Rugby League Club adopted the Myrtle Green and Cardinal Red colours of South Sydney, and joined the WARL in 1948.

The First Goalposts

The First Game was planned -But where were the goal posts coming from? With less than a week’s preparation this was a big task.

History unfolds on the Esplanade

On the 17th April 1948 at 12.15pm 35 brave men ran onto the Esplanade.

Game One- WA State

The WARFL side played their first ever State game against South Australia on the 24th July 1948 at the WACA.

WA to play Australia

Storms in the Bight results in the game scheduled for Subiaco Oval on Monday 16th August 1948 being cancelled.

1948 Premiership to South Perth

South Perth defeats Fremantle 19-5 to claim first WARFL premiership.

Bomber Pilot stars in first Premiership

A World War two Bomber pilot stars in the first WARL Premiership.

The First Night Game 1949

A truly Historical visit in 1949 by Balmain to Western Australia to play four games against the senior State team.

Inaugural Brice Trophy 1950

In 1950 a young 22-year-old Cottesloe Centre in Tom Myles was awarded the the first Brice Trophy.

Applecross Juniors The First

The first junior rugby league game in WA was between Applecross and Eastern Suburbs in 1949 and ended in a 3 all draw with one try apiece.

The Hurlingham Flying Pigs

A vacant paddock and the promise of free milk was the catalyst to start a junior rugby league team out of the Hurlingham State Housing Estate.