There has been a representative side ever since the sport made it to the shores of Australia in 1908 and since then, they have gone on to become the dominant nation in Rugby League by not only winning all that their to win in the sport to be do so continuously.
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As the national team of the country’s dominant code, who have one of the biggest and widest fanbases for the sort of any country, it is perhaps not too surprising that Australia don’t have a national Rugby League stadium as such as their matches are taken around the country.
That puts the country in the Asia-Pacific Confederation which controls much of the southern hemisphere.
The Kangaroos have, almost from the off, been the dominant force in world Rugby League including winning every tournament they have entered, having winning records against every country they have faced and dominating the Rugby League World Cup where they have won every final from 1975, aside from 2008 when they lost in the final to New Zealand.
Professional Rugby League can be traced back to 1908 in Australia after amateur matches started to attract huge cords and players started to demand payments.
That led to the New South Wales Rugby Football League (NSWRFL) competition been started up in and around Sydney, with a representative team started soon after that.
Their first match was against the ‘professional All Blacks’ or the All Golds on their return from a tour of Great Britian.
Later in 1908, Australia set off on a tour of Great Britian, with their first ever match against the then Northern Union taking place in London in December of that year.
The match finished 22 all, with the second test taking place in Newcastle where the Northern Union won 15-5. The final match of the test series took place at Villa Park, with the Aussies also losing by 6 points to 5.
In 1909, the Kangaroos faced their 15 man rivals with the Rugby League code winning 29-26.
In 1910, the Northern Union headed down under to face the Aussies for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere and it was during the first test that Australia picked up their first win when they defeated the tourist 27-20 in front of 42,000 fans in Sydney.
The 1920’s saw the country adopt the green and gold we so readily associate with the Roos to this very day but in the first match to see the Kangaroos in there new colours, against Great Britian in Brisbane, they wore the colours in a hooped design.
In 1929, the country move to a mostly green shirt with a gold chevron design that remains to this very day.
The first test of the 1932 Ashes series saw a new record attendance for international Rugby League set when they drew 70,204 fans to the SCG.
The 1950’s saw a lot of firsts for the sport and for Australia with France heading to the country for their first ever tour in 1951, a tour that saw France win all 3 matches with a quality squad led by the iconic Puig Aubert.
That was soon followed by the first ever Rugby League World Cup, the first of either code, but Australia struggled and failed to reach the final.
They would have to wait long for their first World Cup victory however as they would win the 195 edition in front of their own fans as the host nation.
The 1963-64 tour of Great Britain saw the country win their first every Ashes on British soil after wins at Headingley and Station Road (Swinton), before a loss at Headingley.
The 1980’s was when the Kangaroos really started to go from been a top tier nation to been the dominant force in the sport which was evident in the 1983 tour of GB and France when the tourists won all 15 matches of the tour.
In the 1986 tour of the northern hemisphere, the quality of Australia helped to attract a record crowd of 50,383 to Old Trafford to see them defeat the hosts comfortably.
Australia suffered a shock defeat to Great Britian in 1990 when a new northern hemisphere records attendance was set with 54,576 fans packing into Wembley.
In 1991, they toured Papua New Guinea for the first time and won all 5 matches.
Australia won the 1992 Rugby League World Cup final against the hosts Great Britian in front of a new record crowd of 73,631 at Wembley Stadium.
During the Super League era, the test matches of the Super League representative side was not recognised by Australian officials but that devastating era for the sport did see the invention of the ANZAC Test which continues to be held annually each year.
In 2001, the first Ashes tour since 1994 took place in England before they would host the next Ashes in 2002 and pick up their biggest ever win with a 64-10 victory in Sydney.
During the inaugural Four Nations in 2009, Darren Lockyer would become the first Australian to reach 50 appearances for his country.
In 2018, the Aussies faced Tonga for the first time in front of 30,000+ fans at Mt Smart Stadium whilst just a year later, another sold out crowd would see Tonga defeat Australia in another major international shock. That was the first loss to a country that wasn’t Great Britian (England) or New Zealand in 1978.
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