England Rugby League

Forging a unique identity from a vast history


The old enemy has a long and storied history to draw inspiration from. Like many of the English national teams, the RL team features white heavily with minimal trim colours. The aim in this project was to create an identity that set RL apart from other sports while retaining common elements that represent England.

Existing Identity

I have a mixed opinion of the current identity, the uniforms are classy but I really don’t like the logo.

The current logo was adopted in 2008, presumably an exercise in modernising the England RL brand. This is not what the rebrand achieved. Instead, the shield is uncomfortably rendered with the main elements bent awkwardly to fit. It replaced a logo that was traditional but could have done with a few tweaks.

Left: current logo, Right: previous logo [1]

Left: current logo, Right: previous logo [1]

I like the shield shape and cross on the right but having both of the three lions and rose is overkill. The three lions are strongly associated with English soccer and the red rose with rugby union. The cross is used ubiquitously throughout English sport as a supporting icon but generally isn’t the key focus, so the past and current logos have that going for them.

The current uniforms scream England but do not strongly differentiate from similar national uniforms, particularly rugby union. The RL designs of the past decade have used more red than their counterparts, which is a point of distinction. I really like both the current and previous designs, shown below:

Left: 2011-13 uniform, right: current uniform

Left: 2011-13 uniform, right: current uniform [2]

Of the two, the 2011-13 is the most unique although some may say that it isn’t traditional. The current design is classy, if not a bit bland, but kind of looks like a sideways version of the rugby union team. The current design has sublimated hoops that are very difficult to see. I went into this project thinking that I’d be original for doing this but was surprised to find otherwise. I didn’t even notice them from watching their games in the four nations this year which says something.


Proposed Identity

Tudor Rose [3]

Tudor Rose [3]

The proposed logo and uniforms are largely a combination of the elements introduced above. St. George’s cross remains the primary focus of the logo and is also included on the jersey. This logo takes the shield shape of the older logo, retains the cross, removes the lions, and shifts the rose to the centre of the cross. I drew the rose from scratch to closer match a Tudor rose which is a combination of the red and white roses of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Ideally, the roses would have 5 petals each but four fits the alignment of the cross better. Even with the rose, the St. George’s cross remains as the primary element in the logo.

The uniforms are similar in style to the current design, although I’ve introduced more red trim. The key features are the thin sublimated hoops on the jersey and socks and the extension of the St. George’s cross from the shield on the chest of the jersey. The primary uniform is the traditional all white with red trim, while the secondary uniform is two tone red with gold trim. The founding year of RL is printed on the inner collar.