The 2019 Country Rugby League Representative Season will kick-off next weekend, with the best male and female talent from across regional NSW taking the field over seven-weeks – with all games live streamed courtesy of CRL and BarTV Sports.
Consisting of the Andrew Johns (Under-16) and Laurie Daley (Under-18) Cups and Men’s (Under-23) and Women’s Country Championships, the CRL Representative Season will see a total of 92 games played across 23 venues throughout New South Wales.
The Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups, featuring twelve teams in each age division, will kick-off on Saturday, 16th February with the Men’s and Women’s Country Championships, featuring ten teams in each competition, kicking-off on Saturday, 9th March.
CRL Chief Executive Terry Quinn believes the new look representative season provides a great pathway opportunity for male and female participants in regional NSW.
“Country Rugby League is committed to providing the best pathway for our players and the 2019 CRL representative season is shaping as our biggest one to date,” said Quinn.
“With the majority of participants in New South Wales coming from regional areas, it’s fantastic to have the support of NRL clubs for our Men’s and Women’s representative competitions.
“With all games live streamed via our CRL facebook page – it’s a great opportunity for fans to possibly see some of the future stars of the NRL or NRLW taking the field.”
The continual growth of women’s participation and explosion of CRL Women’s Nines competitions across regional NSW has led to the introduction of women’s tackle into the Country Championships for the first time and provides an opportunity for female players to gain selection in the Country Women’s Representative team competing in the Women’s National Championships and possible higher honours.
“Women’s participation is the fastest growing segment in the game and this is no more evident than in Country Rugby League where there are now more 11,000 registered players.
“The introduction of women’s tackle into the CRL Representative Program ensures our female participants enjoy the same pathway opportunities as our men and we’re excited to see the next generation of female talent on display during the championships.”
This season will also see the Canterbury Bankstown-Bulldogs (North Coast Bulldogs) and Gold Coast Titans (Northern Rivers Titans) form new partnerships with franchises in the CRL representative pathway; joining the Penrith Panthers (Western Rams), Wests Tigers (GSR Wests Tigers), Sydney Roosters (Central Coast Roosters), Newcastle Knights (Newcastle Knights Development Squad), St George Illawarra Dragons (Illawarra South Coast Dragons) and Canberra Raiders (Monaro Colts and Riverina Bulls) in supporting CRL Regional Representative teams.
The Parramatta Eels will also enter teams into the 2019 Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups, providing an opportunity for regional players to compete against players from a metropolitan pathway.
The opening week of the CRL Representative Season will see Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup matches taking place in Camden, Forster, Lithgow, Shellharbour and Wyong with all matches live streamed via CRL’s facebook page.