Like their NRL counterparts, the Vodafone Warriors’ Canterbury Cup NSW and Jersey Flegg Cup teams are ready to roll in 2019 after completing their arduous preseason programmes.
The Nathan Cayless-coached Canterbury Cup side has come through trials against the Canterbury Bulls in Christchurch and the Western Suburbs Magpies in Whangarei ahead of opening its campaign in the club’s season-launching double header against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Mount Smart Stadium this Saturday.
The Greg Boulous-coached Vodafone Junior Warriors will have to wait another week to test themselves after drawing a bye in the opening round.
Their first outing is against Wests Tigers on a triple header Sunday when all three Vodafone Warriors sides will be on show at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday, March 24.
There have been some changes to the make-up of clubs in the Canterbury Cup NSW competition with Wyong Roos no longer involved. They’ve been replaced by the South Sydney Rabbitohs which has, in turn, resulted in a change of allegiance for the North Sydney Bears. The Bears, for so long tied to Souths, are now aligned with the Sydney Roosters (previously with Wyong).
There are also changes in the Jersey Flegg Cup with the addition of three more teams to create a 14-team competition. With the Victoria Thunderbolts (Melbourne Storm) added, 13 of the NRL’s 16 clubs will be involved this year.
The Canberra Raiders are in for their former feeder club the Mounties and South Sydney fields its own side.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors face a heavy travel programme with eight of their first 12 games on the road but seven of their last eight are all in Auckland.