Scotland Conference History
Rugby League is not a new phenomena in Scotland, and whilst the game has only started establishing roots in the nation, players have been coming down from the northern nation since the early 1950's. The advent of Super League was not completely negative on the entire game, as it gave the Rugby Football League the money and foresight to form the Scotland Rugby League as an independent organisation, rather than trying to run the game from their head quarters in Leeds.
1997 saw the kick off of the Summer Conference in which four teams took part. The Rhu Raiders were first past the post in the initial competition that expanded to six teams the next year. The six teams competed up to the 2001 season were some teams had to pull out due to the foot and mouth disease.
From the two teams that pulled out, two more joined in. 2002 looks to be the biggest season ever for the Scotland Conference, with up to 10 teams planning to participate in the competition.
The most successful club of the competition so far has been the Edinburgh Eagles, however since the 2000 the Glasgow Bulls have been minor premiers twice in a row. This comes as a result of the Bradford Bulls becoming an affiliate to the Glasgow team, which has seen a more professional running of it.
Rugby League was first played at Aberdeen University in 1989 and five years later the first-ever open-age Scottish representative side played their first game against a North-East England XIII in Edinburgh. In 1995, Scotland entered the Emerging Nations and defeated Russia and the United States before bowing out to eventual winners, the Cook Islands. Scotland played their first full international in 1996, defeating Ireland 26-6 at Glasgow. In 1999 Scotland joined Ireland and Wales in the first-ever Triangular Tournament, winning 36-16 against Wales and losing the decider 31-10 to Ireland. There is now a six-team competition in Scotland, centred around Glasgow and Edinburgh and the World Cup offers a real chance to further develop the game north of the border and build on the success of recent one-off Super League games played in Edinburgh and of course the 2000 & 2002 Challenge Cup Final's at Murrayfield.