The United States national rugby league team, nicknamed the Tomahawks, competed with little success in some international games during the 1950s, but did not return to consistent competition until 1987.
In 1987, the United States played their first international game since 1954 against Canada and since 2002, the Tomahawks have been playing regular international competition in the United States.
In 2004, they shocked the Rugby League world by leading the World Cup and Tri-Nations champions Australia for most of the game, although Australia rallied in the last quarter of the game and won 36–24.
The United States began the 2013 World Cup Qualification Atlantic Tournament with a comprehensive 40–4 victory over the South Africa Rhinos in Philadelphia, keeping their chances of qualification for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup alive. The Tomahawks went on to secure a 40–4 victory over Jamaica which qualified them for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, which will be their first ever.