A unique state-wide take on a well respected Rugby League cup will take place in July.
The NSWRL is thrilled to announce a unique state-wide Presidents Cup competition for the 2020 season which will see regional-based teams representing Western NSW, Dubbo and Maitland up against metropolitan teams including North Sydney, Wentworthville, Hills District and Glebe-Burwood.
The seven-team competition, which replaces the Ron Massey Cup for 2020, will kick off on July 18 on what will be a huge weekend for the NSWRL.
The weekend will include the state's premier women's competition, the Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership, the Sydney Shield, the community football for under 6s to open age, also kicking off across the state at the same time.
All three major competitions will have seven teams, playing over seven rounds (each team will play every other team once plus a bye) followed by a four-week finals series with a gala Grand Final weekend on September 26-27 at a venue yet to be determined.
NSWRL General Manager, Barrie-Jon Mather said, "The Presidents Cup is a new concept and promises plenty of excitement with teams from across NSW signalling their interest and intention to be part of it."
"We are also excited to have the Sydney Shield and Harvey Norman NSW Women's Premiership back and to give our players the opportunity to take part in these competitions, which have produced a high standard across the Sydney Metropolitan area since they began," Mather said.
"We understand this has been a challenging season for all our clubs and we appreciate those who have been able to commit to our competitions.
"I look forward to the standard of footy they all offer and I can't wait for them to start."
Western Regional Area Manager, Peter Clarke welcomed the addition of both Dubbo CYMS and Western NSW into the Presidents Cup competition.
"The Presidents Cup will help unify the state through Rugby League in what has been a tough year for everyone connected with the game," Clarke said.
"It's great to see our players will get some game time in over this nine-week period rather playing no footy at all in 2020.
"Teams from our region have been part of the NSW Challenge Cup in previous years and have enjoyed the challenge so I'm sure the Presidents Cup will be no different."
Dubbo CYMS President, Michael Fraser said they were looking forward to a different challenge and the competition was a great result for bush football.
"We've got a core group of players and we're hoping to bring in a couple people around them just to strengthen the team," Fraser said.
"That's what really got it over the line I think you'll find, giving these players from the bush the opportunity to play against some different competition."
Maitland Pickers President, Frank Lawler said the players were all looking forward to training and playing again.
"It's exciting to play against different teams and players and just do something a little bit different," Lawler said.
"We haven't got a first grade competition as such up here and the boys are just really keen to play against some different teams and see how they how go.
"It'll be good to have an elite different comp like that and the teams that want to play are playing against some good opposition."
The Presidents Cup will feature seven teams including:
- The North Sydney Bears
- Maitland Pickers
- Wentworthville Magpies
- Glebe-Burwood Wolves
- Hills District Bulls
- Western NSW Rams
- Dubbo CYMS
The Sydney Shield will feature seven teams, including defending premiers Ryde-Eastwood Hawks, as well as:
- Sydney University
- East Campbelltown Eagles
- Moorebank Rams
- Belrose Eagles
- Hills District Bulls
- Wentworthville Magpies Juniors
Did you know the Southern Highland News is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.