***UPDATED 12 FEBRUARY - SEE BELOW***
A total of 57 matches of the NSWRL’s premier competition, the Intrust Super Premiership NSW, will be broadcast live on Channel 9 and FOX SPORTS across the 2018 season, making it the most-watched in the event’s history.
In total, 33 matches Intrust Super Premiership NSW games will be shown on FOX LEAGUE with 24 broadcast live on Channel 9, taking the NSWRL’s blue-ribbon tournament to more people than ever before.
“We’ve worked really hard with the 12 clubs and the broadcasters to build a draw that will take the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition to a bigger audience than ever before,” NSWRL General Manager of Football Barrie-Jon Mather said.
“This season, with the support of Channel 9, FOX LEAGUE and the NRL, the quality and the talent of the NRL’s next-generation will be on show for all to see.
“For the first time, free-to-air TV will showcase our state’s premier competition, highlighting the continued growth and quality of the league.”
Nine’s Director of Sport, Tom Malone said: “We’re very excited to be broadcasting the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition in 2018. It’s a great competition with so much heritage and tribalism. It will be terrific to see the likes of the North Sydney Bears and Newtown Jets back at the centre of Sydney’s Rugby League television offering.”
The 2018 season includes three special rounds:
- Respect Round (Round 5, 7-8 April), in line with the start of the Junior League season
- Magic Round (Round 11, 19-20 May), which will see two triple-headers of Intrust Super Premiership NSW games, likely to be played at iconic venues Henson Park and North Sydney Oval
- Heritage Round (Round 20, 28-29 July), which will raise awareness and funds for Men of League.
Newtown Jets CEO, Stuart McCarthy said: “Henson Park is renowned for a great atmosphere for Intrust Super Premiership NSW games and I think it would be a wonderful afternoon for Magic Round on Saturday 19 May.
“The more teams and the more groups of supporters who can come down and experience an old-fashioned day of afternoon football the better for everyone involved in the game.”
Another feature of the competition will be a number of double-headers with the new-look Jersey Flegg Cup (Under-20 competition) or other NSWRL competitions, rather than stand-alone games.
Intrust Super CEO Brendan O’Farrell said: "As a passionate supporter of grass-roots Rugby League, Intrust Super is delighted that fans will be treated with plenty of double-headers and special rounds. These events increase the level of excitement around the Intrust Super Premiership NSW matches and the game generally.
“Naturally, we are also excited about the prospect of having this fantastic competition screened on free-to-air television this season. This will do great things for the profile of the game and also help extend its reach to more loyal fans.”
Other key features in the draw include Premiers Penrith beginning their title defence at home against Wentworthville in Round 1 and the Grand Final re-match in Round 13 as Wyong have the chance to avenge last season’s Grand Final heartache against the Panthers.
In addition to greater-than-ever exposure on free-to-air and pay TV, NSWRL.com.au is also increasing its coverage of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition in 2018, bringing it to more people than ever before.
NB: On 2 February two changes were made to the draw originally published on 1 February - with the St George Illawarra v Newcastle Round 4 clash now due to kick-off at 2pm; and Western Suburbs v Newtown Round 12 match now due to kick-off at 3pm.
NB: On 5 February, an additional five changes were made - with Round 4 St George Illawarra v Newcastle clash now due to kick-off at 1:45pm at WIN Stadium; the Round 8 Canterbury v Blacktown match now due to kick-off at 3:15pm; the Round 15 St George Illawarra v Blacktown match is now due to commence at 1pm at Leichhardt Oval; the Round 18 clash between St George Illawarra and Wentworthville due to commence at 1:45pm; and the Round 24 match between Mounties and St George Illawarra to commence at 12:45pm.
NB: On 12 February the following changes were made:
Round 2 (venue/time/day change)
St George Illawarra Dragons
Southern Cross Group Stadium, Thursday 5.30pm
Round 10 (venue change)
North Sydney Bears
North Sydney Oval, Sunday 11.45am *FOX
Please note NSWRL draws are subject to change