The challenge to unseat the Rabbitohs as premiers will commence on Thursday, March 5, the NRL has confirmed.

NRL one of the closest competitions in the world

The NRL Telstra Premiership is one of the world's most closely-contested sporting competitions and the 2015 season is expected to be just as tight when it kicks-off next week.

The closeness of the Telstra Premiership is a testament to the strength and depth of the NRL, with fans of all clubs a genuine chance to see their team play finals football in September. The NRL's salary cap is also a big factor in creating a competition in which all teams have a real chance of winning on any given weekend.

The NRL's top 10 metre-eaters

In season 2014, 17 games were decided by just one point and 72 games by just six points, emphasising the NRL's focus on providing outstanding entertainment for fans.

The competition is so even that there have been five different NRL premiers crowned in the last five years, while nine different clubs have lifted the Provan Summons trophy in the last 12 seasons. 

While the NRL continues to be a compelling battle between all clubs, other sports around the world are a little more predictable.

The English Premier League has had only three different champions in the last decade and five different winners in its 22-year history. The NBA has had five different winners in the last 10 years and six in the last 16, while the AFL has been a little more competitive with four different premiers in the past eight seasons.

More NRL stats and information will be available in the 2014 Annual Report, to be released on Friday.

NRL Finalists over the past five seasons:

2014:
Roosters
Sea Eagles
Rabbitohs
Panthers
Cowboys
Storm
Bulldogs
Broncos

2013:
Roosters
Rabbitohs
Storm
Sea Eagles
Sharks
Bulldogs
Knights
Cowboys

2012:
Bulldogs
Storm
Rabbitohs
Sea Eagles
Cowboys
Raiders
Sharks
Broncos

2011:
Storm
Sea Eagles
Broncos
Wests Tigers
Dragons
Warriors
Cowboys
Knights

2010:
Dragons
Panthers
Tigers
Titans
Warriors
Roosters
Raiders
Sea Eagles