The 2015 NSW Cup competition was officially launched at Wentworthville Leagues Club – and NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley believes the upcoming season will be the closest on record.
Daley believes the Cup, which kicks-off this weekend, is the premier feeder competition to the NRL, and remains an integral pathway for juniors and seniors alike.
“In Origin, we’ve benefitted from the NSW Cup,” Daley said.
“A range of our current NSW Blues players and those in and around the team have come through the NSWRL and NSW Cup set-up. Five-eighths James Maloney and Josh Reynolds and halfback Trent Hodkinson all played in the Cup only a couple of years ago, showing how strong the development and pathway system is and how integral the league is to the game in general.
“The competition is all about the stars of the future and grassroots rugby league – it’s great to get the opportunity to see those budding stars up close and in person on their development path.
“Not everyone is ready for first grade at 21 – players in different positions mature at different stages of their careers. The NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shields are they places they really learn their trade.
“I can’t wait to see the games this year. It should be a great season and, while last year’s grand-finalists Panthers and Knights should once again be strong, it’s really anyone’s competition. I really can’t pick a winner.”
The Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield competitions were also launched on Wednesday, with both due to kick on the weekend of March 14-15.
Draw for Round 1 of the NSW Cup:
Newcastle vs Warriors, Hunter Stadium, Saturday 7th March, 2:10pm
Newtown vs Wests Tigers, Henson Park, Saturday 7th March, 3:00pm
Mounties vs Illawarra, Aubrey Keech Reserve, Saturday 7th March, 3.00pm
Wyong vs Manly, Morrie Breen Oval, Saturday 7th March, 6.00pm
Penrith vs Canterbury, Pepper Stadium, Sunday 8th March, 1.45pm
Wentworthville vs North Sydney, Ringrose Park, Sunday 8th March, 3.00pm