13 NRL teams will be represented in the VB NSW Cup in 2012 as St George-Illawarra and Canberra return through joint-venture partnerships with Illawarra and Mounties.
The 2012 season will be a
26 round competition which features a number of new initiatives set to
reaffirm the VB NSW Cup as the premier feeder competition to the NRL.
Newtown Jets will break new ground in 2012 as they leave their
spiritual home at Henson Park and take their round 15 fixture against
the Windsor Wolves to Pioneer Oval Parkes.
On what is the biggest
weekend on the Parkes calendar, celebrations will include the Parkes
Picnic Races on Saturday and culminate in this historic VB NSW Cup match
on the Sunday.
The VB NSW Cup season will also see two unique
rounds where three double headers will be played for individual trophies
in a three-pool system. The pools will be the Foundation Challenge
(Newtown, North Sydney, Western Suburbs and Balmain Ryde-Eastwood), the
Battle of the West (Canterbury-Bankstown, Wentworthville, Mounties and
Windsor) and finally, the Battle of the Coast (Newcastle, Cronulla,
Manly and Illawarra).
NSWRL General Manager Geoff Carr says off
the back of a stellar year in 2011, the VB NSW Cup looks set to only
further enhance its position as the premier open-age competition in
“Around 500,000 viewers tuned into watch a thrilling
Grand Final between Canterbury-Bankstown and Auckland last year at ANZ
Stadium,” Mr Carr said.
“The success of 2011 season coupled with
the support of our new sponsor in VB places the VB NSW Cup in a strong
position to strengthen the competition.
“There is an ever
expanding appetite for quality Rugby League at suburban venues and with
the return of St George-Illawarra and Canberra, this will now expand the
VB NSW Cup’s footprint into two of Rugby League’s heartland’s in the
south coast and western Sydney.
“With games already being at
quintessential suburban grounds such as Leichhardt Oval, Henson Park and
North Sydney Oval, it exciting to see the return of defending premiers,
Canterbury-Bankstown, to a refurbished Belmore Sports Ground.”
season is set to start on Saturday, March 3, with the 2012 Grand Final
again set down for NRL Grand Final day at ANZ Stadium on Sunday,
2012 VB NSW Cup structure:
NSW Cup club - NRL Affiliate
Auckland Vulcans - New Zealand Warriors
Balmain-Ryde-Eastwood Tigers - Wests Tigers
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs - Own team
Cronulla Sharks - Cronulla Sharks & Melbourne Storm
Illawarra - St George-Illawarra Dragons
Manly Sea Eagles - Own team
Mounties - Canberra Raiders
Newcastle Knights - Own team
Newtown Jets - Sydney Roosters
North Sydney Bears - South Sydney Rabbitohs
Wentworthville Magpies - Parramatta Eels
Western Suburbs Magpies - Own team
Windsor Wolves - Penrith Panthers
The NSW Cup draw can be found here... http://www.nswrl.com.au/default.aspx?s=nswc-draw