|National Leagues 1 & 2|
|Number of Teams|
|10 & 12|
| Challenge Cup|
Northern Rail Cup
There are currently two leagues with promotion and relegation between the two divisions.
National League teams are only allowed one quota player, other than London Skolars, Gateshead Thunder and Celtic Crusaders to compensate for the lack of amateur clubs outside the heartlands to recruit from.
Between 1999 and 2002 teams below the Super League took part in a single division known as the Northern Ford Premiership (NFP). In 2003, the Northern Ford Premiership was completely re-organised into National Leagues One and Two. Teams that finished in the top ten of the Northern Ford Premiership joined League One and the bottom nine joined League Two, they were joined by London Skolars from the Rugby League Conference who entered National League two. York City Knights replaced the defunct York Wasps and joined League Two in 2003.
At the same time, National League Three was created with teams from the Rugby League Conference and from the BARLA amateur leagues. It was intended that there would be promotion and relegation between National League Two and National League Three when League Three became more established.
At the end of the 2005 an extra team was relegated from Super League in order to accommodate French side Catalans Dragons. In turn an additional team was relegated from National League One; thus the number of teams in this division remained at ten. Blackpool Panthers were elected to National League Two for the 2005 season to replace the defunct Chorley Lynx. In order to "even up" the numbers a new team was admitted into the League Two, a Welsh team called Celtic Crusaders, thus increasing this division to twelve teams.
National League Three ran between 2003 and 2006. It was intended that at some future point promotion and relegation would be allowed between National League Three and National League Two.
The remaining six founder members of National League three (Teesside Steelers, Manchester Knights, Coventry Bears, Hemel Stags, St Albans Centurions and South London Storm all came from the Rugby League Conference. Of the other League Three clubs three (Bradford Dudley Hill, Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks and Warrington Woolston Rovers (now Warrington Wizards)) came from the National Conference League and (Huddersfield Underbank Rangers) came from the Pennine League.
Season 2004 saw an expansion to fourteen teams with Birmingham Bulldogs, Carlisle Centurions and Essex Eels elected from the Rugby League Conference. Also one League Three club, Bramley Buffaloes, was admitted as a new club, though they can also be considered as a reincarnation of the previous Bramley club, which had long played in the professional leagues. Gateshead Storm also entered as late replacements for the defunct Teesside Steelers. The season was extended to twenty games starting a move towards a full season. Manchester Knights resigned from the league a few games before the end of the season.
Prior to the 2005 season South London Storm announced that they were joining the new Rugby League Conference Premier Division, along with Manchester Knights. Carlisle Centurions and Birmingham Bulldogs failed to complete the season, Coventry Bears and Essex Eels resigned after the season. Some felt the problems were a result of the change from a semi-regionalised structure to a full home and away set-up. All four of these found their way back into the Rugby League Conference.
Dewsbury Celtic moved up from the Rugby League Conference Premier North and Featherstone Lions, just a month after failing to finish the season in the National Conference League, were accepted to National League Three to give it ten members for the 2006 season.
A few weeks into the 2006 season Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks withdrew, and Bradford Dudley Hill returned to the National Conference League after the season. St Albans Centurions also decided to join the Rugby League Conference Premier Division South, which left Hemel Stags as the only southern team in the league.
In 2007 the National League Three teams was absorbed into the Rugby League Conference, rebranded as the Rugby League Conference National Division with the addition of three new teams from the Rugby League Conference Premier North. It is thought the rebranding was due to the number of teams withdrawing and the number of forfeited fixtures harming the image of the National Leagues as a whole, which was an issue while looking for a new sponsor.
A play-off structure is used to determine the winners of League One, who are then eligible for promotion to Super League, being replaced by the team being relegated from that competition. Two teams are relegated from League One, being replaced by the team finishing top of League Two and the winner of a play-off structure involving the six teams finishing behind the league leaders in League Two. The play-offs in each National League division are a top-six format.
After 2009 there will be no automatic promotion or relegation from Super League and new teams will be admitted on a franchise basis. Reviews of franchises will take place every three years to ensure ambitious clubs lower down the leagues can still be successful.
There is no promotion or relegation between League Two and the Rugby League Conference at the present; current RFL policy is to expand the top two leagues gradually over time. As yet no clubs have been admitted to the National Leagues from the Rugby League Conference since the London Skolars.
A cup competition, the National League Cup, is played for by all clubs in Leagues One and Two; in 2005 four League Three clubs were also admitted, in 2006 five League Three were admitted. The teams are organised into regional conferences, with knock-out stages following from the group stage. In 2007 four Rugby League Conference teams are scheduled to be included.
From 2007 the competition used a new points system:
There are ten teams in league one and ten in league two.
|National League One|
|Barrow Raiders||Craven Park||Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria|
|Batley Bulldogs||Mount Pleasant||Batley, West Yorkshire|
|Doncaster RLFC||Keepmoat Stadium||Doncaster, South Yorkshire|
|Featherstone Rovers||Chris Moyle's Stadium||Featherstone, West Yorkshire|
|Gateshead Thunder||Thunderdome||Gateshead, Tyne and Wear|
|Halifax RLFC||The Shay||Halifax, West Yorkshire|
|Leigh Centurions||Leigh Sports Village||Leigh, Greater Manchester|
|Sheffield Eagles||Don Valley Stadium||Sheffield, South Yorkshire|
|Whitehaven RLFC||Recreation Ground||Whitehaven, Cumbria|
|Widnes Vikings||The Stobart Stadium||Widnes, Cheshire|
|National League Two|
|Blackpool Panthers||Woodlands Memorial Ground||Lytham St Annes, Lancashire|
|Dewsbury Rams||The Tetley's Stadium||Dewsbury, West Yorkshire|
|Hunslet Hawks||South Leeds Stadium||Leeds, West Yorkshire|
|Keighley Cougars||Cougar Park||Keighley, West Yorkshire|
|London Skolars||New River Stadium||Haringey, London|
|Oldham Roughyeds||Boundary Park||Oldham, Greater Manchester|
|Rochdale Hornets||Spotland Stadium||Rochdale, Greater Manchester|
|Swinton Lions||Park Lane||Swinton, Greater Manchester|
|Workington Town||Derwent Park||Workington, Cumbria|
|York City Knights||Huntington Stadium||York, North Yorkshire|
|Season||Relegated from SuperLeague||League One Champions||Promoted from League One||Relegated from League One||League Two Champions||Also promoted to League One||League Three Champions|
|2003||Halifax RLFC||Salford City Reds||Salford City Reds||Dewsbury Rams||Keighley Cougars||none||Warrington Woolston Rovers|
|2004||Castleford Tigers||Leigh Centurions||Leigh Centurions||Keighley Cougars||Barrow Raiders1||none||Coventry Bears|
|Whitehaven RLFC||Castleford Tigers||Barrow Raiders|
|York City Knights1||none||Bradford Dudley Hill|
|2006||Castleford Tigers||Hull Kingston Rovers||Hull Kingston Rovers||Oldham Roughyeds|
York City Knights
|Dewsbury Rams1||Sheffield Eagles||Bramley Buffaloes|
|2007||Salford City Reds||Castleford Tigers||Castleford Tigers||Rochdale Hornets|
|Celtic Crusaders||Featherstone Rovers||Featherstone Lions|
|2008||none||Salford City Reds||Salford City Reds|
|Dewsbury Rams||Gateshead Thunder||Barrow
From 2008 to be promoted to Superleague you had to be a successful applicant for a license, rather than the traditional grand final winners being promoted.