Rugby League was born in 1895 in a bitter dispute about amateurism that was as much about class as money.
Successful rugby teams in northern England often contained a number of working class players who couldn't afford to continue in the game without recompense for the time off work they had to take.
When the affluent 'gentlemen' of the southern clubs refused to allow compensation, League broke from Union.
Played faster and with more reliance on handling and technique over set plays and kicking, the sport initially flourished across various countries linked by the British Empire and then beyond.
Shunned by the RFU for decades, League finally 'came home' when Union became openly professional around the tun of the 21st century, allowing League players to switch codes and the 'northern' version to exert an increasing influence on how its sister game is played.
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Rugby League Memorabilia & Autographs