The Intrust Super Cup will expand to 14 teams in 2015 with the official announcement on Wednesday night of the admission of the Townsville Blackhawks into Queensland Rugby League's premier competition next season.
Queensland Rugby League Chairman Peter Betros officially informed more than 300 guests of the Blackhawks’ entry at the annual QRL Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall and the marquee competition’s 14th team are set to play their home games out of Jack Manski Oval in Townsville. The new club will have the backing of the North Queensland Cowboys, who will importantly maintain their affiliation with the Northern Pride and Mackay Cutters.
Providing a complete pathway from the North Queensland under-20s through to the NRL was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of a Townsville ISC team and comes on the back of the successful entry of the PNG Hunters in 2014.
"We've identified for some time the need to have an Intrust Super Cup club in Townsville," said QRL manager of major competitions, Jamie O’Connor.
"It is the largest region outside of south-east Queensland and is a market that we want a significant foothold in.
"As it stands, a gap in the player pathway exists in Townsville for players over the age of 20.
"The Blackhawks provide a great opportunity for these players to continue their development through Intrust Super Cup and hopefully onto NRL and the XXXX Queensland Maroons."
Click here for further details on the Blackhawks' entry into the Intrust Super Cup.