The 2020 NSWRL Junior Representatives draws released today will feature matches from two regional NSW competitions to be played in Bega in February as part of a game-wide festival of footy to raise community spirits in the bushfire-devastated region.
The NSWRL worked closely with the NRL to relocate matches from the Andrew Johns Cup (under 16s) and Laurie Daley Cup (under 18s) between the Monaro Colts and Illawarra South Coast Dragons from Wollongong to Bega on Saturday 29 February as part of a whole-of-game initiative to assist communities that were affected by the bushfires which have ravaged the state.
The matches will be curtain-raisers to a trial match between NRL clubs Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels that will mark the culmination of three days of festivities including a host of player-led community activities and public events in nearby towns.
NSWRL Chief Executive Dave Trodden said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the game to have an impact and make a real difference to a community that really needs it and one where Rugby League is an important part of the social fabric of all of the towns in the region.
“We urge all Rugby League fans to unite and get behind this initiative which is just one of the ways the game plans to support the communities, workers and volunteers affected, and more specifically, to help ensure the game goes on for our Rugby League family.”
The NSWRL is proud to administer the Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup for the first time, with the competitions kicking off on 15 February and featuring more than 600 of the best young players across regional NSW in a total of 66 games at 24 venues over seven weeks.
The Sydney-based Junior Representatives competitions will kick off a week earlier on 8 February, and will showcase the talents of more than 1000 players in a total of 216 games across 13 weeks in the UNE Harold Matthews Cup (under 16s), UNE SG Ball Cup (under 18s) and the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (under 18s women).
The Tarsha Gale Cup will feature a number of exciting rule changes including teams being expanded from 11 to 13 players and games being played in two halves of 30 minutes instead of three 20-minute periods.
The Grand Final weekend for the Sydney-based Junior Representatives competitions will be on 9 May; while the Andrew Johns Cup and Laurie Daley Cup Grand Finals will be played on 4 April with the best-performed Northern and Southern Pool teams meeting in the Semi-Finals in March.
Both regional competitions are divided into a Northern and Southern Pool, with the Northern Pool teams comprised of Northern Rivers Titans, North Coast Bulldogs, Greater Northern Tigers, Parramatta Eels, Newcastle Knights and Central Coast Roosters; and the Southern Pool teams comprised of Western Rams, GSR Wests Tigers, Illawarra South Coast Dragons, Monaro Colts, Penrith Panthers and Riverina Bulls.
*Please note draws are subject to change