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Rugby League has today joined forces with the biggest brand in Australian motoring – Holden – for a whole-of-game partnership that will drive the Greatest Game of All into a spectacular new era.

The finalisation of a three-year partnership between the National Rugby League and Holden brings together two iconic Australian brands and will start a stunning new chapter in the biggest annual series in Australian sport – the Holden State of Origin Series.

Over the next three years, Holden will support every level of the game from grassroots communities to the most prestigious team in Australian Rugby League – the Holden Kangaroos.

As part of a partnership that encompasses all levels of the game:

•    Holden will become the major sponsor of prizes for the game’s annual Monster Raffle, which has raised more than $2 million for grassroots clubs across Australia. This year Holden will donate two cars as the first two major prizes;

•    The Under 20s competition will become the Holden Cup and Holden Under 20s State of Origin and will remain focused on developing not only the incredible playing talents of the players but also their off-field career education;

•    State of Origin – the biggest, most breathtaking and most watched annual series in Australian sport – will become the Holden State of Origin Series;

•    On the international stage, Holden will partner with the Australian Test team, with the Holden Kangaroos embarking on an exciting season that includes Canberra’s Centenary celebrations Test against New Zealand and the Rugby League World Cup starting in October in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

NRL Interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, today joined Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Mike Devereux, Australian coach Tim Sheens, Holden State of Origin coaches Mal Meninga (QLD) and Laurie Daley (NSW) and Holden Kangaroos and Origin stars Paul Gallen and Robbie Farah at Rugby League Central in Sydney to announce the partnership, which is one of the most wide-reaching in the game’s history.

“This is such an exciting time for Rugby League. We have in place a strong foundation for growth and there are tremendous opportunities ahead for everyone in the game, including our corporate partners,” Mr Mattiske said.

“It’s significant that Rugby League now has two of the biggest and most respected brands in Australia, Telstra and Holden, as its two biggest corporate partners in a sponsor family that supports all levels of the game.

“The opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with people and organisations who share Rugby League’s breadth of community involvement is an important part of our vision for the game and in Holden we have a partner who embodies that commitment.

“This is a real partnership that works across the game and it is one that all fans can get behind.”

Mr Devereux said Holden and the NRL were two world-class Australian brands looking to grow together into the future.

“This sponsorship is the strongest indication yet that Holden is back, bigger and better than before, with a long-term commitment to building and selling cars in Australia and investing in Australian talent,” he said.

“Holden has committed to help Rugby League develop in local communities through fundraising opportunities for local clubs and assisting in developing NRL stars of the future through the Under 20s competition.

“The Holden Cup has a fantastic approach to preparing young players for life beyond sport – no work or study, no play.

“The Holden State of Origin is the jewel of Australian sport – an amazing game, millions of viewers, interstate rivalry and supreme athleticism.

“And I’ll be heading to one of Australia’s favourite games in one of Australia’s favourite cars, the new VF Commodore."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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