Throwback: The pure beauty of Rugby League Raw on ITV & BBC

James Gordon

In the early 2000s, a magazine show called Rugby League Raw showcased the National League play-offs like never before.

With match highlights, behind the scenes footage, including from inside the changing rooms, and expert commentary, it provided fascinating insight in to the trials, tribulations and passion in the lower leagues.

It started in 2000 on Yorkshire Television before moving to the BBC in 2004, and at its peak attracted more than 400,000 viewers, despite its late night timeslot. What rugby league would do for them sort of figures on terrestrial TV now.

Sadly it was canned in 2007 after Sky Sports started to show National League games live.

Fortunately, some old Rugby League Raw footage can still be found on YouTube.

Brilliantly presented, showcasing pure rugby league, pride in itself and providing coverage of clubs and players nearly 20 years ago that shamefully is better than what the same clubs and players get today.

Enjoy a few select episodes below.