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The NSWRL has welcomed the addition of four new clubs to the Presidents Cup and Sydney Shield this season as the opening round draws were released today for all three senior competitions starting on Saturday 18 July, including the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.

The Presidents Cup and the Sydney Shield have been reformed to nine-team competitions with Wests Illawarra and Thirroul Butchers playing in the Presidents Cup while Helensburgh Tigers and Cronulla Caringbah Sharks have joined Sydney Shield.

Both competitions will be played over nine rounds with two weeks of finals inclusive of a blockbuster Grand Final weekend on 26-27 September which will also feature the decider for the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to see the addition of four new clubs into two of our senior competitions for the 2020 season as it demonstrates there’s a real appetite in the community to get Rugby League back up and running,” NSWRL General Manager – Football, Barrie-Jon Mather said.

“We appreciate all the hard work that has been done behind the scenes, by both the NSWRL and our clubs, to get to this point after a challenging time for everyone.

“I can’t wait to see the skills on show in all our competitions and the addition of regional NSW teams to the Presidents Cup will make it a truly unique spectacle. 

“I’m looking forward to getting to the footy this weekend and I’d like to remind everyone to observe all the social distancing guidelines so we can all enjoy the season ahead.”

The opening round for the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership, which remains a seven-team competition to be played over seven weeks with four weeks of finals, will feature the newly-formed Central Coast Roosters taking on Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Terry Lamb Complex, Chester Hill on Saturday 18 July.

North Sydney Bears have the honour of kicking off the Presidents Cup when they host Dubbo CYMS at North Sydney Oval #2 on Saturday 18 July while Ryde-Eastwood Hawks will look to get their premiership defence off to a flyer when they take on Hills Bulls at TG Millner Sportsground, Marsfield on Sunday 19 July.

The Presidents Cup is a unique competition represented by clubs across Sydney and regional NSW including North Sydney Bears, Dubbo CYMS, Thirroul Butchers, Wests Illawarra, Western Rams, Hills Bulls, Wentworthville Magpie, Maitland Pickers and Glebe-Burwood Wolves.

The Sydney Shield includes defending premiers Ryde-Eastwood Hawks, Hills Bulls, Belrose Eagles, Moorebank Rams, Wentworthville United, East Campbelltown, Cronulla Caringbah, Helensburgh Tigers and Sydney University.

The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership includes the Central Coast Roosters, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, North Sydney Bears, Wests Tigers, Wentworthville Magpies, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs.

For the opening round draws for all competitions, click here.