Some of the brightest young talents are ready to make their mark in the representative arena with the opening round of the 2020 UNE Harold Matthews Cup season this weekend.
Reigning premier Newcastle Knights will be searching for their third premiership since 2014, having claimed a 28-8 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in last year’s Grand Final.
The Knights finished the regular season with best attacking (262 points) and defensive record (82) in the competition, and will be primed for a Grand Final rematch in Round 6 at Maitland Sports Ground.
The Bulldogs, however, start their season with a bye, as do the Western Suburbs Magpies and South Sydney Rabbitohs, while the Sydney Roosters and North Sydney Bears will kick-off the first game of the year at Henson Oval on Saturday 7 February.
Meanwhile, the Parramatta Eels, who have won the most Harold Matthews Cup premierships since the competition’s inception in 1970 (20), will be desperate to return to finals football this campaign after missing the top eight for the first time since 2014.
The Under 16’s competition acts as the perfect introduction for players looking to immerse themselves in a semi-professional environment with many making the transition into the NSWRL’s pathway programs.