NSW Rugby League Announces New
Competition Structures

NSW Rugby League Announces New Competition Structures The New South Wales Rugby League is set for an exciting future following the announcement today of its new competition structures for the 2003 season.

In a major change, the NSWRL Board has revised the NSWRL First Division, Metro Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup, SG Ball Cup and Harold Matthews Cup competitions as they are currently constituted and also revised the League's development structures.

In announcing the changes, NSWRL General Manager Mr Chris Turner highlighted the excitement the changes had already generated. "We have had a long and comprehensive consultation process between the various stakeholders in the game who are all very supportive of the plans for 2003."

"The main NSWRL competition for 2003 will be the NSWRL Premier League. This will be open to current NSWRL First Division clubs, Metro Cup clubs and any other clubs in the state who wish to apply. The Premier League will be an open age competition and serve as the main feeder competition to the NRL."

"There will also be a second tier competition beneath this, which will have a lesser salary cap than the Premier League. This competition, which will bear the sponsor's name, will also be for open age players."

"Applications for these competitions will close on July 31st, 2002 and a specially constituted Sub-Committee will review the applications before extending invitations to participate in the competitions"

"Beneath these levels the Flegg and Ball Cup competitions have been retained but have been modified. Each will now run for eight weeks plus a Final Series, with the Flegg Cup being for players under eighteen years of age while the SG Ball Cup will be for players under the age of sixteen. The Matthews Cup, for players under the age of fifteen, will revert to a knockout format, conducted over a weekend."

"The NSWRL was very keen to maintain these long standing trophies as a tribute to their longevity and the men whose names they bear, each of whom was a stalwart of rugby league." said Mr Turner.

NSWRL Chairman Colin Love echoed Mr Turner's sentiments regarding the initiatives. "These changes will help the NSWRL provide further opportunities for players throughout the state while also strengthening the development and feeder pathways to the National Rugby League. In the long run, they will reinforce the game at all levels -something which benefits us all." Courtesy of http://www.nswrl.com.au