The NSW Cup Grand Final rematch between Newcastle and Wyong in Round Nine is one of the highlights of the 2016 New South Wales Rugby League senior competitions draw released today.
All three NSWRL senior competitions – NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield - will kick-off in line with the 2016 NRL competition, with matches starting 5-6 March and the season ending with Grand Final Day on 25 September.
Premiers Newcastle will begin their title defence against North Sydney away from home on 5 March, while last season’s powerhouses Mounties and Penrith will kick-off the 2016 season in the match-of-the-round clash at GIO Stadium earlier that day.
The highly-anticipated Grand Final rematch will be played on 30 April during “Country Round”, which will also feature a match in Bathurst and four in the Illawarra region.
Fox Sports will again broadcast each round's blue-ribbon clash live and exclusive in high definition throughout the entire regular season and finals series.
Further highlights of the 2016 NSW Cup draw include:
Round 2 – Wentworthville Magpies v Manly Sea Eagles: Former Manly youngster Clinton Gutherson will have to wait just two weeks to face his former teammates at his new home, Ringrose Park.
Round 4 (Easter Sunday) – Illawarra Cutters v Penrith Panthers: The two sides will play the curtain-raiser to the NRL fixture between the Dragons and Panthers at WIN Stadium.
Round 5 - Newtown v Wests Tigers at Henson Park: The two clubs have built a fierce rivalry in recent years and it is set to continue in 2016. Having missed the finals series in 2015, Newtown and Wests Tigers will be out to make amends next season.
Round 24 – Newtown’s Reunion Day: This sea’s fixture sees the Jets take on old rivals North Sydney at Henson Park.
“After the success of the 2015 NSW Cup season, we’re looking forward to the start of the 2016 season, fully expecting it to be bigger and better than before,” NSWRL General Manager of Football Barrie-Jon Mather said.
“Attendances and viewing figures have been rising steadily for this competition over the last three years, off the back of traditional names such as North Sydney and Newtown, NRL powerhouses such as Canterbury and Penrith and local big names such as Wentworthville and Mount Pritchard.
“We feel that the make-up of the competition is ideal and it’s now acknowledged to be the leading competition in Australia for developing talent.”
The opening round of the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield competitions will feature both premiers playing at Ringrose Park.
Wentworthville Magpies will kick-off their Sydney Shield defence at home in a tough match against Mounties, while Ron Massey Cup titleholders Mounties will start their new campaign against Wentworthville.
Asquith Magpies will have to wait until Round 16 to avenge last season’s Ron Massey Cup Grand Final heartache.
In further exciting news, St Marys enter the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield competitions in 2016, playing out of St Marys Leagues Stadium. Former Panthers NRL player Brad Drew will coach the Ron Massey Cup side.