Rugby League was founded in Japan in 1993 by former Australian first grade player, Max Mannix, who had played for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Illawarra Steelers in Australia.

The Japanese National Team played their first ever game in the 1994 World Sevens tournament in Sydney and held their first domestic competition in 1998.

Since then the JRLA hold a small domestic competition each year titled the JRL National Cup plus a series of Nines tournaments. The JRLA often make a trip to Sydney early each year to compete in a series of internationals and Nines tournaments.

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