BlogNFL vs NRL | Comparing the NFL and NRL

NFL vs NRL | Comparing the NFL and NRL

Friday, April 12, 2024


People worldwide have a thing for violent sports, with merciless tackles and cruel throws. Although the National Rugby League and National Football League look similar due to their nature, they are considerably different sports.

The National Football League (NFL) is an American sports event played by 32 teams fighting each other to win the NFL’s grand finale, the Super Bowl.

The NFL was founded with the efforts of 14 groups in Canton, Ohio, on 17 September 1920. The NFL is a major sport played in the United States.

The NRL was born in Huddersfield, UK. A meeting took place in August 1895 at The George hotel, leading to the rugby league’s creation. The National Rugby League is a rugby league club competition in New Zealand and Australia.

Although both sports are played in different parts of the world, the fans get confused because of their similar names and nature. Due to their shared origins and comparable game-play, American football and rugby league can be compared.

If you are worried and confused about the differences in games, then we are here to help you answer all your NFL vs NRL questions. 

Comparison Between NFL and NRL


The National Football League and National Rugby League are two vastly different sports tournaments played on two continents. They only share a similarity due to their same origin.

The following is a chart of critical differences between the NFL and NRL:




No. of Players The NFL team has 53 players. NRL teams have 13-17 players.
No. Of Games per Season NFL teams play 16 games per season. NRL teams play 20 games Every regular season.
Players’ protective Gear NFL players wear a lot of protective gear, including body padding and helmets. NRL players are only allowed to wear soft padding on their heads.
Season Finale The NFL ends with just one mega event, the Super Bowl. The NRL season ends with a mega event called NRL Grand Finale held in Australia.
Safety Measures The NFL is not as safe as the NRL. The players purposely collide and hurt the other player. The NRL is an equally dangerous game, but since the players are not bulky compared to the NFL, the tackles are not as severe.
No. Of Franchise The NFL has a total of 32 teams. The NRL has a capacity of 16 clubs.


NFL vs NRL: The Origin

In 1871, Representatives from 21 clubs, most of which were in London and all based in southern England, came together to form the Rugby Football Union. Rugby had become popular by the early 1890s, and more than half of the RFU’s clubs were in northern England

Rugby was more popular among the working and middle classes in the north of England and South Wales than football. According to belief, American football evolved from rugby.

Rugby is credited with being introduced to Americans by British colonists from Canada. The two were not then as distinct as they are now.

NFL vs NRL: The Key Difference


Although rugby and American football share a common origin, today’s versions of these sports and the competitions that follow them are very different

The National Football League is a domestic league in the United States, meaning that only American-based teams can compete. Because American football is only played competitively in Northern America, it has a very restricted audience.

The National Rugby League, on the other hand, is an international sports event as it is played between the clubs of Australia and New Zealand. Since the games are played in two countries, the NRL has a more diverse audience than the NFL.

NFL vs NRL: Time Limit

The NRL is a straightforward game with teams playing in only two halves. Each half of NRL consists of only 40 minutes with a 10-minute break between them. The time duration of the break never exceeds under normal circumstances. 

The NFL games are divided into four quarters of 15-minutes games with a 2-minute break. The breaks are only between the first and third quarters so that the players can change sides.

NFL vs NRL: Schedule

The 18-week regular season, which runs from early September to early January, begins each NFL season with a three-week preseason in August. Each club plays 17 games during this time and has one bye week

After the regular season, seven teams from each conference move on to the playoffs, a single-elimination competition that concludes with the Super Bowl, played in February.

NRL games are held In Australia and New Zealand from March through October. 20 games are played between 16 teams in the NRL. The NRL Grand Final determines the season’s champion,

NFL vs NRL: GamePlay


The gameplay in both games has a huge difference. Unlike the NRL, where players must toss the ball back as they move up the field, the NFL allows players to throw the ball forward

In rugby league, it is against the rules for players to tackle above the neck. This would be considered a foul, and the player might be temporarily removed from the game field and placed in the “sin bin” for reckless play. 

The player must lose the ball, and the game must continue if a tackle knocks them to the ground. The player with the ball must be tackled in the NFL. The play ends when a player’s knees reach the ground.

NFL vs NRL: Scoring

The game’s purpose is to touch the ball as many times past your team’s goal line as you can. This line is known as the “touchdown” line in the NFL instead of the “try” line in the NRL.

This method of scoring yields the most points. A try is worth four points, while a touchdown is worth six.

The NFL also gives players the choice of field goals, which are worth three points, and tries, which are given after touchdowns and can either be a try striker or a touchdown-style play and are worth one or two points.

A similar scoring system is used in the NRL. A player may kick a “conversion” after a trial, equivalent to a field goal, and will be awarded two points.

Players may also score standard goals, which are spots or drop kicks between the goal if the referee has given a penalty, or drop goals, which are kicks between the goals during play and are given one point.

NFL vs NRL: Teams


The number of teams participating in the leagues also varies between the two sports tournaments. In the NFL. There are a total of 32 teams with 53 players each. All the players in the NFL wear protective gear, including body padding and helmet.

In the National Rugby League, NRL, there are a total of 16 teams, with 13 out of 17 players on each team’s pitch. The players are only permitted to wear helmets with soft paddings to protect their heads

NFL vs NRL: Which is Richer?

The National Football League is the wealthier of the two leagues, and the NFL is currently one of the richest sports leagues in the world, despite being a purely American event. Think about the fact that the Dallas Cowboys are the richest sports team in history, with a net worth of US$5.7 billion

The NRL is in competition with AFL in Australia for the highest revenue. However, the NRL’s revenue is nowhere close to the NFL’s. The Brisbane Broncos, with an estimated net value of between AU$49 and AU$50 million, are the wealthiest team in the NRL.

NFL vs NRL: Salary,

The salary difference between the players in the two leagues is also vast. Even though the NRL players are wealthy, their salaries are minimal compared to the NFL players.

For instance, Daly Cherry Evans of the Sea Eagles and Ben Hunt of the Brisbane Broncos are now the two most-paid NRL players, earning AU$1.2M and AU$1.1M annually, respectively. 

In comparison, Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs are the two NFL players earning the highest salary, with $45 million and $43 million annually, respectively.

NFL vs NRL: Field

The playing field of the National Football League and National Rugby League have some similarities but, overall, are very different. 

The NFL’s field is a rectangular field measuring 120 yards (110 m) long by 53 13 yards (48.8 m) wide. There are goal lines towards each end of the field, 100 yards (91 m) apart. Beyond each goal line, there is a scoring area known as an end zone that is 10 yards (9.1 m) long

Every five yards (4.6 m), there are yard lines that cross the field. In the center of the field, two rows of hash markings run parallel to the sidelines. There are a pair of goalposts at the rear of each end zone.

Rugby league fields can be up to 120 meters (130 yards) long and 68 meters (74 yards) wide, which are similar measurements. Every ten meters, lines cross the field marking (11 yds).

Since the goalposts are located on the goal line, their distance is exactly 100 meters (110 yds). The in-goal area, the region beyond each goal post, stretches for an additional 6 to 11 meters (6.6–12.0 yds).

NFL vs NRL: Where to Watch


The NFL and NRL have dedicated streaming services where you can watch every game live. 

Every game is available on the NRL’s affordable, high-quality streaming service, Watch NRL. The time difference can be a concern if you are watching the service from the United States.

However, you can watch the full highlights of every game and full game replays when the game occurs in the middle of the night.

The National Football League (NFL) owns NFL Network, a sports-focused pay television network in the United States. It is a component of NFL Media, including, NFL Films, NFL Mobile, NFL Now, and NFL RedZone.

The network, devoted to American football, broadcasts NFL games and NFL-related specials, documentaries, and analysis shows.

NFL vs NRL: Popularity

Although the NFL and the NRL have significant differences, they are both popular. Even though they are being played on opposite sides of the globe, both leagues are united by the intensity of their matches and the violent crowd that supports them.

Because of the teams’ relative parity, the NFL is the most watched league in the United States. All teams have an equal chance of winning the Super Bowl, regardless of which ones are wealthier than the others.

Due to the NFL’s business model, all teams receive an equal share of the sponsorship revenue. This enables them to create top-notch teams to play on the grid.

Even though the AFL is more popular in Australia, the NRL is not far behind. According to previous data, even though the AFL dominates live game attendance, NRL television viewing is slightly more popular.


How much prize money is awarded to the winning team in the NFL and NRL?

The National Rugby League awards its winner $200, 000 which is less than the award money awarded to the Super Bowl champions. The NFL awards $150,000 to each member of the winning team.

Where can you watch NFL and NRL in the United States?

The NRL and NFL have worldwide broadcasters that will broadcast all the tournament games. You can watch NFL on official broadcasting partners such as NFL Network, CBS, ESPN, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, etc. ‘Watch NRL,’ and Fox Sports are the available platforms in the US to watch NRL.

What are the similarities between the NFL and NRL?

The significant similarity in both sports is that the territory on the field is essential for winning the game. 


The National Football League and the National Rugby League are vastly different sports played in two different parts of the world. However, these sports can be compared due to their common origin and few similarities.

When discussing NFL vs NRL in revenue, we can unarguably say that the NFL is far ahead in the games as it is the world’s richest sports league. However, since the NRL is an international sports event, it is more popular worldwide.



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