International representatives Chris McQueen, Danny Levi and David Nofoaluma will feature in the opening round of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition, starting on Friday (9 March).
The trio of NRL regulars – who boast almost 300 first grade games between them – headline the weekend’s play, alongside 10 members of the successful 2017 NSW Under 20s and 18s.
Levi’s Newcastle Knights will kick-off the new season against Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at McDonald Jones Stadium, while McQueen and Nofoaluma will line-up in the returning Western Suburbs Magpies’ clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.
FOX LEAGUE will broadcast the Magpies-Bulldogs encounter, as Channel Nine begin their historic coverage of the NSWRL’s premier competition when the St George Illawarra Dragons and Mounties meet at Wollongong’s WIN Stadium on Saturday.
NSW junior representatives Jai Field, Reuben Garrick, Blake Lawrie, Zac Lomax and Braden Robson will all turn out for the Dragons, while Nick Meaney (Newcastle), Billy Magoulias and Jesse Ramien (Newtown), Jack Murchie (Mounties) and Ray Stone (Wentworthville) feature for their respective clubs.
Defending Intrust Super Premiership NSW champions Penrith Panthers open their quest for back-to-back titles against the Wentworthville Magpies at Panthers Stadium on Sunday, following the departure of 2017 captain Darren Nicholls (St George Illawarra) and coach Garth Brennan (Gold Coast Titans).
Elsewhere, Newtown Jets celebrate the start of their 110th season in their match-up against 2017 grand finalists Wyong Roos, while the Warriors host the North Sydney Bears at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium.