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Who would have thought it in professional rugby league?

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In the early years of the Northern Union there was a professional Lancashire Senior Competition with no Yorkshire clubs in (though one year it had Hull KR for some bizarre reason). Oxford have no juniors and the open age side nearly collapsed in 2011 but the new club seem well run.

There was also a professional Yorkshire Senior competition with no Lancashire teams in it. The trophies for winning these leagues were one of the famous four trophies which were only ever won in the same season by Hunslet, Swinton and maybe Huddersfield. The other three were the Yorks or Lancs Cup, the RL championship and the Challenge Cup.

There was an actual league table for each league which was confined to fixtures against other teams in the county. There were 6 inter county fixtures per team each year and those, combined with the county league results produced the RL Championship table.

The anomaly was that there were not enough clubs in Lancashire so one Yorkshire team played in the Lancashire league every season, not always the same club, it rotated.

So some kind of Conference system is nothing new to Rugby League.

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