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The Rugby League Digest

Author: The Rugby League Digest

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A weekly digest of all things Rugby League- past, present and future.
106 Episodes
In this instalment we discuss "the vision", the ARL's PR machine, Piers Akerman vs Fatso Vaughn, John Ribot's infamous Footy Show appearance, New Limited's media machine, Rugby League Week playing a straight bat, the heavy impact on print and broadcast journalism, lifelong friendships torn apart and much more!
In this chapter, we discuss the infancy of Pay TV in Australia, the many "sliding doors" moments involving rugby league, the sheer power of Packer and Murdoch, the consortium that could have stopped the war, Pay TV's race for content, the Optus Vision grand final debacle and much, much more!
With the next chapter of The Super League War still a work in progress, we offer the hilarious episode recorded with Sydney comedian Luke Heggie looking at the all-time Grub 17, originally airing in February 2018. Catch Luke at a venue near you in 2020- details on Instagram via @heggieluke or at
The RLD is proud to present Rugby League Reflections, a one day conference to mark 21 years of Tom Brock activities, held on November 11, 2019. In the fourth and final session we hear John Brock's 'Tragedy & Triumph: the story of Albert Burdus, a 1908 foundation player', Terry Williams', 'Almost a Kangaroo: Robert Nicholson', and Tom Mather's 'The Other Dave Brown'. Audio courtesy of Cracker Night Films.
The RLD is proud to present Rugby League Reflections, a one day conference to mark 21 years of Tom Brock activities, held on November 11, 2019. In the third of four sessions, we hear Joe Gorman's 'How Rugby League Explains Queensland', Drew Cottle's 'A History of Craig Bellamy's Melbourne Storm', and Spencer Kassimir's 'A Not So Golden Point: Why the Flip of a Coin Should Have No Place in Determining the Winner'. Audio courtesy of Cracker Night Films 
The RLD is proud to present Rugby League Reflections, a one day conference to mark 21 years of Tom Brock activities, held on November 11, 2019. In the second of four sessions we hear Andy Carr's 'Reading the Game: Exploring Rugby League News (1920-1973) via Trove', Kath Haines', 'Founded in a Fight’: Why the founding story of the NSW Ladies Rugby Football League in Sydney, 1921, deserves a place in Rugby League’s pantheon of great internecine fights', and Melissa McMahon's 'Unlucky 13: Amateurism as a weapon of war in Vichy France'. Audio courtesy of Cracker Night Films.
The RLD is proud to present Rugby League Reflections, a one day conference to mark 21 years of Tom Brock activities, held on November 11, 2019. In the first of four sessions we hear Heidi Norman's 'Aboriginal Participation in Rugby League: interpreting state ambitions and community agency', Patrick Skene's 'Olsen Filipaina: pioneer of the Pasifika revolution' and Guy Hansen's 'The 1989 Premiership- greatest grand final ever?'. Audio courtesy of Cracker Night Films.
In this episode the RLD examines Super League signing the game's top referees, the ARL's banning of the refs, the crushing defection of the English Rugby Football League, Maurice Lindsay's influence, The English switch to summer, NZ and the Warriors go as well, despite being a Super League afterthought, the beginnings of the Pacific revolution and much more! 
In this episode, the RLD dissects the pivotal signing of the Newcastle Knights to the ARL. We analyse the bungled Super League pitch, the role of the Knight's administration, Gus and Bozo , 'gee up' culture, Joey's signature, legendary coach and honourary Novocastrian Mal Reilly, 'Ausies for the ARL', the formation of the Hunter Mariners and much, much more!
Ricky Stuart, Andrew's all time favourite player (despite that unpleasant incident at Marathon Stadium in '94), was a key piece for Super League and a key piece for the ARL to target for a backflip. In this episode, we discuss the fall out from the Raiders' defection and the double standards over the meaning of loyalty.
The culmination of this fascinating chapter sees Michael return from a research rabbit hole with as many questions as answers. Who knew what? And when? "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!". One thing is for certain, the game lost one of its true characters with the passing of the great Peter 'Bullfrog' Moore.
Part one of a spellbinding chapter on one of the game’s great characters. From helicopters at Belmore, his windowless office/lair, to the rich culture and track record of success and failure of the ‘family club’. Moore’s undeniable passion for his club, players and rugby league is juxtaposed against a reputation as a shrewd old school rogue
The RLD is proud to present the 21st annual Tom Brock Lecture, held at Petersham RSL on the 24th of September. Delivered by Industrial Relations expert Professor Braham Dabscheck, the lecture takes a deep dive into the fascinating 40-year history of the Rugby League Players Association. Special thanks to Cracker Night Films for filming and recording this year’s lecture. Michael is also joined by Tom Brock committeeman and State Library of NSW Librarian Andy Carr to discuss the history of the Tom Brock Lecture and Collection.
In this installment we discuss the ARL's marquee signing of Brad Fittler, money being thrown around like confetti, the effective strategy of quantity over quality, Bozo putting the squeeze on Matthew Ridge, an elderly lady abusing Ian Roberts, Chinese restaurants, and the rise and fall of footballing prodigy Adam Ritson.
In this chapter we discuss the ARL getting wind of the raid, the key players in the fightback, how Optus Vision money hamstrung the ARL, Packer envoy Graham Richardson, the unbreakable bond between Arthurson and Quayle, Bozo and Gus' influence, and an unholy alliance with the player agents.
War rooms, whiteboards, private jets, a major hiccup in Brisbane, comic relief in Auckland, in this installment we discuss the Super League recruitment strategies, flaws of the raid, and the great Graham Murray.
This is part one of Chapter Seven: Blitzkrieg. We discuss the disappearance of Star League, analyse Super League's "vision", the signing of key coaches, the machinations of the April Fools Day raids and much more!
In this instalment, we discuss the ARL's 1995 launch with music superstar Yanni, the ignominy of a supposedly triumphant opening weekend, the efforts of the expansion clubs, and Rupert Murdoch signing off on war!
In this chapter we discuss the impact of the World Sevens on Super League, the legendary meeting of February 6th 1995, Kerry Packer's threats and much, much more!
In this chapter, we discuss the last magnificent Kangaroo Tour, Ken Arthurson's dash back to Sydney for a confronting meeting with News Limited, legendary Kerry Packer reactions and much more!
Comments (1)

Matt Riches

Top notch episode. Conducted by true professionals. I remember that time back in 92, and yes it was deeply tragic and moved the entire League community. Well done Guys,

Oct 7th
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