Pt Chevalier and Glenora will kick-off the 2019 SAS Fox Memorial Premiership Qualifiers as the curtain-raiser to an NRL match on Friday, April 5, with the game also to be shown live on SKY Sport.
The two clubs will play a rematch of last year’s Grand Final, serving as the opening act of an NRL game day that will later see the Vodafone Warriors take on the Gold Coast Titans at Mount Smart Stadium.
In addition to the two competition points on the line, the Stormont Shield (champion of champions shield) will also be up for grabs, with Pt Chevalier being the current holders after defeating Glenora 11-10 in the same game to start last season.
With Pt Chevalier and Glenora having met in the last two Fox Memorial Premiership Grand Finals, winning one each, the rivalry has become one of the biggest in grassroots rugby league.
Auckland Rugby League CEO Greg Whaiapu said it was an exciting way to launch the new season, which sees the Fox Memorial Premiership grow from 10 to 12 teams under a new format.
“This was always going to be a huge game given the history between the two sides, and it’s great to see them playing on this stage,” Whaiapu said.
“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the Vodafone Warriors for their work in getting this fixture into the programme for the event, and we look forward to doing it again on April 20 when our Auckland Vulcans U16 side take on the Future Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium.”
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said supporting grassroots rugby league was a key area of focus for the club and encouraged fans of local footy to get down to Mount Smart Stadium early to support the game.
“We know our fans love the Fox Memorial competition and we had a big crowd here early for a curtain-raiser game last year,” he said.
“Having this game is all part of our goal to deliver excellent entertainment and game day experiences every time we play at Mount Smart Stadium.”
The remaining five Fox Memorial Premiership matches in round one all kick off at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 6 at club grounds around Auckland.
A number of players with links to the Vodafone Warriors will be in line to take the field for both teams, including Pt Chevalier duo Tevita Latu and Jeremiah Pai, who played at NRL level for the club in the 2000s.