The nib Newcastle Knights officially launched their men’s and women’s touch football squads on Monday, set to play in the 2019 NRL Touch Premiership starting next month.
Following the success of the inaugural competition last year, the Premiership has been expanded to 26 game days, played over five months.
It features eight NRL clubs, including the Knights, played at 13 different stadiums around Australia and in Auckland, as curtain raisers to NRL matches.
Both the men’s and women’s Knights touch teams will play six matches throughout the season, with the Knights first clash against the Parramatta Eels at Glen Willow stadium.
NRL Touch Football CEO Jamie O’Connor, a Newcastle native himself, said the boys have been on a winning streak.
“Nine of the 15 players named in the team won the National Touch League two weeks ago, and last year they took out three major NSW championships. The NRL Touch Premiership is the only trophy they don’t have in the cabinet," he said.
The Knights women’s touch squad features a number of Australian players and the player regarded as the fastest female touch player in the world, Madi Crowe.
Knights CEO Philip Gardner said this year’s competition is bigger and better and has encouraged all Knights fans to get behind it.
“This is a fantastic event with some of the best touch players in the country,” said Gardner.
“I urge all Novocastrians to show their support and cheer on our Knights touch teams this season.”
O’Connor said all teams in the NRL Touch Premiership will put on a big show for audiences.
“Elite touch football is fast paced and high scoring; the long passes, diving, footwork and sublime skills of these athletes will excite audiences of all ages. Each game day will be like watching an hour-long Kalyn Ponga highlight reel.”
Matches will be broadcast live and on-demand via Kayo. The broadcast schedule can be seen HERE.
2019 NRL Touch Premiership facts
· 26 game days (as opposed to seven game days in the inaugural year, 2018)
· Played over five months
· 52 games (26 Men’s, 26 Women’s)
· 8 NRL clubs involved: Knights, Tigers, Eels, Broncos, Titans, Cowboys, and 2 new clubs this year, the Roosters and Warriors
· 13 different stadiums around Australia and also in Auckland
· Each game is 30 minutes
· Last season, a try was scored, on average, every 3 minutes – fast and high-scoring sport
· Six players per team on field at any one time