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Coming under Rugby League's direct control, National Rugby League is an annual rugby competition happening every year since 1998. It is a winter sport and is held in Australia and New Zealand. The league begins in March and ends by October.
A total of 16 clubs compete in the contest, another club will be added to the competition in 2023. The Greater Syndney area is home to nine of the clubs. There is no relegation or promotion in the league and there are no divisions or conferences. A total of 17 clubs have become defunct in the past in various periods of time. The league has several stages but three of them are the most important. Regular season, finals series and grand final are the three. The regular season starts in March and stretches till September for 25 weeks. The team which finishes first is awarded with the minor premiership title.
Eight top clubs enter the finals series. Each club plays a club according to their finishing positions. A total of three knockout rounds are played and final two remain. These two clubs compete in the grand finale, the climax of the National Rugby League. The league follows the rules set by the Rugby League. The games are more attack-minded and pacy than Rugby Union.
Syndney Roosters and Melbourne Storm are tied on the highest number of Premiership titles, at 4. Melbourne Storm would have surpassed it counterpart if not for the salary cap breach in the years 2007 and 2009. Last year's championship was won by Penrith Panthers, they won it after a huge break of 18 years. Salary cap is one of the defining features which distinguishes European games from the games originated in USA.