On October 1st 2008, NRL Chief Executive, David Gallop, joined Broncos’ captain Darren Lockyer and Rabbitohs’ star Craig Wing at the Grand Final Live Site at Martin Place, Sydney. The event was the historic announcement of the 2009 Telstra Premiership draw.
It marked the first time the draw was released in Grand Final week, ensuring those fans whose teams are not in the decider could begin dreaming of Premiership success.
“Grand Final week is a time to celebrate the achievements of the two best teams in the competition but it is also an opportunity to give hope for all fans that their teams can be part of the festivities next season,” Mr Gallop said.
“There is something for all fans to look forward to in every round of the 2009 Telstra Premiership, as well as an exciting representative program that includes a Harvey Norman State of Origin match in Melbourne.”
The 2009 Telstra Premiership kicks-off on Friday, 13 March, with a host of blockbuster matches scheduled to whet the appetite for the coming season.
Round one match-ups feature the Broncos v Cowboys and Roosters v Rabbitohs grudge matches as well Bulldogs v Sea Eagles, Storm v Dragons, Warriors v Eels, Titans v Knights, Wests Tigers v Raiders and Sharks v Panthers.
Former Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett returns to Suncorp Stadium in new colours during Round 4 when his Dragons take on the Broncos.
Anzac Day rugby league returns to the SFS in 2009 with the annual clash between the Roosters and Dragons.
Grand final rivalries are renewed afresh in Round 8 with Manly and Melbourne clashing for the first time in ’09.
The Centenary spirit lives on in Round 10 with Heritage Week now established as an annual tradition. Complementing the Hall of Fame Heritage Ball will be a round of mouth-watering clashes that highlight rivalries old and new.
Expect fireworks when the Wests Tigers tackles the Rabbitohs, the Broncos and Titans go head-to-head, the Dragons man-up against the Bulldogs, and the Sea Eagles renew battle with the Eels.
Round 20 kicks off the “Glory Bound Rounds” as the race to make the Telstra Premiership Finals Series hots up with return clashes between the Titans and Broncos, Rabbitohs and Roosters, and Bulldogs and Eels.
In 2009, byes have been structured to ensure more teams have more stars available during the representative season.
Friday, 8 May 2009 will open a new chapter in the representative football annuls with the Trans-Tasman Test between Australia and New Zealand, at Suncorp Stadium, played on the same night as NSW regional rivals City and Country go head-to-head.
Harvey Norman State of Origin returns to Melbourne in 2009 with Game 1 of the series set to ignite the southern capital before the series is decided in Game 2 (Sydney) or Game 3 (Brisbane).
It’s going to be another massive year of rugby league, so start planning now.
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