It's hard to think back to the late 1990's. The Super League War was at its peak, splitting the rugby league world in two with those loyal to the Australian Rugby League and those to Super League.
The top hit of 1997 was Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997".
It was a modern time with the internet starting to boom, but alas, there was no fantasy rugby league competition around.
The IIRL was not the first fantasy rugby league competition, infact it was the second - a defunct competition called Fantasy Rugby League had been in existance before it, but it was the first competition to be run by simulator.
The birth of the IIRL, just like its real life counterpart Rugby League, came from a rugby union competition.
Kevin Hare had just completed the first season of World Fantasy Rugby. Martin "Earthquake" Lester, a participant and foundation member of WFR lamented to Hare that there was no rugby league equivalent of WFR and shortly thereafter the IIRL was born.
Why IIRL? Because the name Fantasy Rugby League had been used before in a previous competition. Why interactive Rugby League and not fantasy? Because, unlike fantasy rugby league, the IIRL would have more options for coaches and be more interactive.
The IIRL was always going to be different than fantasy rugby league competitions, due to it's interactivity. Combining selecting your own players, creating strategies for your team to follow were part of the on-field team process.
The IIRL combines these rugby league tactics and makes the game more interactive with news articles, press releases, friends, enemies and alliances - something that some people would say is more suited to fantasy wrestling than fantasy rugby league.
But this is not fantasy rugby league, this is interactive rugby league. The more you put in to the game (with tactics, training players, sending news articles and press releases), the more you get out of it (better scores on the field, merchandise money for promoting your match).
That's why the slogan of the IIRL is you are the game.