It was a rough start to the 2020 NRL season in Australia, after Covid-19 saw fixtures postponed indefinitely back in March. Fast forward a grim couple of months for sports fans and the National Rugby League is back, with matches resuming on May 28. Best of all, it's easy to follow all 20 rounds of action of the regular season – and get excited about the the finals series and ultimately the NRL Grand Final. Read on as we explain how to watch the NRL live and stream every fixture online in 2020 – including for free – no matter where you are in the world.
As a quick primer, the NRL is the top-tier rugby league competition in Australia and features 15 teams for all over the continent – and one from New Zealand. For die-hard fans in Australia, knowing how to watch the NRL online is more important than every now, as stadiums will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. But even if you can't attend in person, it's a relief to have rugby league full stop.
This year's reigning champions – or 'premiers' – are the Sydney Roosters, and they'll definitely be putting up a fierce defence of their crown. In 2019, they made history by becoming the first team to win back-to-back NRL titles since the inception of the unified league, and it represented an 18th premiership rugby league trophy for the club overall. Can they pull of a three-peat this season?
One of the teams likely to stand in their way are local rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs. This Roosters vs the Rabbitohs is the fiercest rivalry in all of Aussie rugby league football, dating back to the foundation of both clubs in 1908 as part of the now defunct New South Wales Rugby Leage, or NSWRL. Over the years, the Bunnies have won a total of 21 premierships, putting them ahead of the Roosters. But in NRL, it's the Tri-Colors who lead the way with four titles compared to the Rabbitohs' single championship.
In 2019, the Rabbitohs had the upper hand over the Roosters in the regular season, but the Easts delivered when in counted in the qualifying final and beat their rivals by a dominant score of 30-6.
At the end of the regular season, the eight highest placed sides advance to the playoff-style NRL finals series, which whittles the league's best teams down to just two. They then compete in the NRL Grand Final, which is one of the world's highest attended sporting events.
Read on to find out to watch the NRL and live stream every fixture of the Australian rugby league action from anywhere.
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How to watch the NRL: live stream in Australia for free
How to watch the NRL live from abroad
Watching the NRL in Australia is easy, but what about in other countries around the world where the excellent Kayo Sports service isn't available?
There's no need to miss a second of the Aussie rugby league action, thanks to Watch NRL – a global subscription service that will give you access to every single NRL match this season. Available whether you're in Boston, Birmingham or Bangkok, the league's official streaming service can be had on weekly, monthly and annual deals – of which the latter represents the best value.
Here's how Watch NRL is priced in various footy loving places around the world – or rather, various places where footy loving Aussies are likely to find themselves wanting to watch the NRL 2020 season.
- Weekly: US$17 / £13 / €17 - GET PLAN
- Monthly: US$33 / £25 / €33 – GET PLAN
- Annual: US$165 / £130 / €155 – GET PLAN
Note that it's not available in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands – so let's look at some other NRL live stream options around the world.
How to watch the NRL in New Zealand: live stream details for the 2020 season
How to watch the NRL in the UK: live stream Aussie rugby league footy
How to watch the NRL: live stream Aussie rugby league in the US
Live stream the NRL: How to watch in Canada
How to watch the NRL live from outside your country
Australians who subscribe to a service like Kayo but find themselves abroad for the next big NRL clash will probably find it's down to a geo-blocking restriction. When this is the case, the simplest and most reliable solution is to use a VPN service to change your IP address to a difference location.
This will generally let you tune in to your local coverage, just as you would from home, and means you don't have to trawl the sketchier corners of the internet for an illegal stream.
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