Community efforts drive significant growth in Leeds Rugby League participation

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of community club volunteers and our Development Officers, we have seen encouraging growth in primary, boys, and girls Rugby League teams across Leeds compared to last year.

Current Registration Numbers

As of now, Leeds boasts 2,752 registered players across 138 teams. The detailed breakdown is as follows:

  • Total Registrations: 2,752 players
  • Primary Teams and Individual Registrations: 60 teams / 1,028 players (Target for 2027: 70 teams)
  • Girls Teams and Individual Registrations: 21 teams / 463 players (Target for 2027: 30 teams)
  • Boys Teams and Individual Registrations: 57 teams / 1,261 players (Target for 2027: 55 teams)

While substantial progress has been made, we recognise there is still considerable work ahead to meet our 2027 targets.

  1. Primary Rugby League:
    • Growth in primary Rugby League is ongoing, driven by enhanced engagement with clubs and focused efforts on upskilling coaches to improve player retention.
  2. Girls Rugby League:
    • The girls’ game is expanding at a promising rate, benefited by robust school programmes and competitive offerings.
  3. Boys Rugby League:
    • Retention remains a challenge, particularly for boys under 12 and above. However, significant improvements have been noted this year due to extensive work in coach development, creating better playing environments, and providing clear pathway opportunities.
    • Notably, the number of under 18’s teams has more than doubled from 4 last year to 9 this year.

While the journey towards our 2027 targets continues, the positive trends observed this year provide a solid foundation for future growth. We remain committed to improving standards of environments of the Rugby League community in Leeds, ensuring that players of all ages and genders have the opportunity to develop and enjoy our sport.

Rugby League Development Manager, Darren Higgins, added: “These figures and growth represent the outstanding work being undertaken by coaches and volunteers in our local community clubs, as well as the significant efforts by Leeds Rhinos Foundation as part of our community club support scheme.

“As a foundation, we are committed to supporting the growth of the local community game and run a number of programmes to help support this.

“In addition to our focused work around school deliveries and competitions, with the transition of players into community club environments, we have also become more deliberate in recent years around supporting club coaches and providing ongoing player development and pathway opportunities with player retention in mind.”

Our focus will remain on:

  • Increasing the number of primary teams through targeted coaching and engagement strategies.
  • Expanding the girls’ game by leveraging school partnerships and competitive opportunities.
  • Improving retention in boys’ teams by continuing to invest in coach development and creating supportive playing environments.

We are confident that with continued effort and dedication, we will achieve the goals outlined in our Rugby League Development Plan for 2027.

For more information on the above, please contact