Rugby League once summoned images of damp and dilapidated stadiums in the north of England where men straight off the factory floor wrestled for superiority amid the mud and blood.

But the modern game is a world away from that; supreme performers showcasing their vast array of skills and Herculean athletic prowess.

In many ways the 13-man code ­- a breakaway from Rugby Union in 1895 – led the way for its rival by paying professional players.

There are also a host of skills once seen only in RL that are now mainstays of the union game – clever offloads to release another wave of attack, wrap-up tackles that switch the momentum in the blink of an eye.

One main difference is where the power lies in Rugby League, for unlike its cousin that boasts a flourishing international scene, it is the club game that holds sway.

The English Super League features giants of the sport such as Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens.

They contest the League Leaders’ Shield over the regular season between February and July, before the play-offs decide who will contest the showpiece event – the Grand Final at Manchester United’s prestigious Old Trafford stadium in October.

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Thunder Down Under

While there is top-class talent on show in Europe, the best of the best ply their trade in Australia’s NRL.

Considered the very peak of the sport, many British players have ventured Down Under to test themselves and bag a decent payday at the same time.

Sam Burgess became a legend for South Sydney Rabbitohs when he guided them to a Grand Final victory over Canterbury Bulldogs in 2014 – their first title for 43 years – despite breaking his cheekbone in the opening seconds of the match.

Rugby League players are tough boys!

The current champions are Melbourne Storm, who beat North Queensland Cowboys in this year’s final thanks largely to their ageing but influential trio of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

They will be desperate to hang on to their crown when the 2018 season kicks off in March.

How to bet on Rugby League

Much like Rugby Union, Rugby League offers a host of options when it comes to having a punt.

A popular choice in the Super League is the handicap market, where the less favoured team will be awarded a points start to level the playing field. With some of the teams often stringing together long victorious runs, that means a great chance to bag some enhanced odds.

Try-scorers and goal kickers dominate the individual player options, but why not take a look at some of the lesser-known bets up for grabs?

Rugby League rules are each team has a ‘set of six’ tackles before they have to relinquish possession, and using these to maximum effect is the key to winning.

Many bookmakers offer odds on how many sets a team will complete, how many kicks will come on the last tackle and what percentage of possession a team will accumulate.

Rugby League enjoys vast media coverage, on Sky TV in the UK and Fox Sports in Australia, often allowing you to watch the match you are interested in live. That means in-play betting is ideal for those wanting to predict the twists and turns and any individual clash.

With many outcomes but a reasonably straightforward structure, Rugby League is a great choice for the sports bettor. And at FindBets will can offer all the new and information you will need to make an informed choice.

Our experts are well-versed in the 13-man code. We know our James Roby from our Johnathan Thurston and our grubber kick from our 40-20.

Stick with us to keep you across all the happenings and betting opportunities in the sport.