Touch Football Australia (TFA) will be expanding the NRL Touch Premiership for 2019, with two additional clubs and significantly more rounds.
While the Premiership (NRLTP) involved six NRL clubs in 2018, its inaugural year, it will expand to eight clubs in 2019 – each club fielding a Men’s team and a Women’s team.
It was recently announced that the New Zealand Warriors will enter the NRLTP. They will join the six existing clubs: the Wests Tigers, the Parramatta Eels, the Newcastle Knights, the Gold Coast Titans, the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys. The eighth club to join the NRLTP will be announced shortly.
While the 2018 NRLTP only consisted of six game days plus the grand final, the 2019 tournament will expand significantly.
Due to this significant expansion, TFA undertook an extensive, consultative review of the format for the National Touch League (NTL) for at least the next two-year period (2019-2020). One of the decisions made as part of this review process was to remove Elite 8s.
This decision was based on a large variety of factors, including but not limited to protecting athletes, coaches and referees from burnout.
There was also consistent support for a change from T-League to an Opens Division (with introduction of a minimum age of 16) at NTL.
The following divisions will be offered for the 2019 and 2020 NTL:
Opens: Men’s, Women’s, Mixed
Seniors: Men’s 30s, Women’s 30s, Mixed 30s
Masters: Men’s 40s, Women’s 40s, Mixed 40s, Men’s 45s, Women’s 45s
Veterans: Men’s 50s, Men’s 55s, Men’s 60s
TFA plans for All-Abilities Specialised to be incorporated into NTL from 2020. In the meantime TFA will work with Touch Football Specialised on including All-Abilities Specialised divisions in state and regional events before incorporating into NTL.
For more information on NTL 2019, contact your NTL Tour Leader.
Stay tuned for the eighth NRLTP club announcement.